Physical Activity Epidemiology and Public Health
This module aims to provide MPhil students with an understanding of the key principles of physical activity and fitness epidemiology in terms of assessment, associations with health, determinants, public health impact and policy. This will enhance their understanding of the importance of physical activity and fitness for public and global health and allow them to critically appraise the published literature.
Module Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be able to:
- Describe and discuss definitions of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness across their respective domains
- Distinguish and apply different methods of assessment of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness. Understand different inference techniques for derivation of activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness phenotypes as exposures or outcomes.
- Describe and discuss sources of bias specific to activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness epidemiology.
- Describe and discuss different analytical approaches in activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness epidemiology and interpret associations of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness with chronic disease.
- Critically appraise published research in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness epidemiology.
- Discuss the need for and apply techniques of harmonising measures of activity.
- Discuss descriptive epidemiology of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness, overall and in relation to public health guidelines and their evolution.
- Describe the determinants of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness.
- Use and apply the above principles to estimate public health impact of activity exposures through public health modelling.
- Describe and discuss key issues in translating evidence in physical activity epidemiology to policy implementation for public health.
Principles of Epidemiology, Principles of Biostatistics, and Principles of Public Health
A combination of lectures, facilitated classroom discussions, and applied workshops will be provided. The lectures will provide overviews of key principles, interlaced with classroom discussions. The students will be provided with recommended reading for each module component. The practical workshops will take a variety of forms including data collection on students themselves, group work involving data analysis and class-wide discussions on interpretation of findings and more general topics.
- Presentations (20% of the module grade), on the last day of the module, based on students analyses of data collected on themselves during the module. Students will work in pairs.
- Critical appraisal of a recent research publication, testing understanding of key concepts taught in the module (80% of the module grade). 1000 words max, submitted 1 week after the end of the module. Students will work individually and need to choose one out of 3 pre-selected papers.
Module Length: 4 days