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Mental health

Academics from the NCSEM-EM are undertaking research on a range of areas where physical activity can help enhance mental health

Physical activity and mental wellbeing

A Loughborough University academic has worked with the mental health charity Mind on a landmark two-year study showing that people with mental health problems who are more regularly active have better mental wellbeing.

“This programme aimed to increase interest in physical activity, reduce barriers and increase participation in physical activity to improve mental health.”

Dr Florence Kinnafick
Lecturer in Psychology, Loughborough University

Sleep

Your diet and exercise could be negatively affected if you don’t look after your sleep. Dr Iuliana Hartescu of Loughborough University’s Clinical Sleep Research Unit has studied the benefits of a restful night and the relationship between sleep, exercise and diet, which, she says, operate as a ‘health trinity’.

Sleepful – Effective treatment for insomnia

Sleepful is a therapeutic programme designed to help people with insomnia benefit from the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) to help improve sleep quality.

Gender

Physical activity has been shown to have a positive effect on mental wellbeing and many interventions now include physical activity as part of the prescription for good mental health. But for some groups – such as transgender and non-binary identifying people – engaging in physical activity, exercise and sport can pose a great challenge.

“Anything that we can do to help break down the barriers identified in our research could have a very positive effect on the mental health of transgender and non-binary identifying people.

Dr Gemma Witcomb
Lecturer in Psychology, Loughborough University