Active Living & Public Health

Victoria University has consolidated its research activity.

From 2018 research of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living is located within the Institute for Sport, Health & Active Living.

The Active Living and Public Health research program examines the complex interplay between individual, social, environmental and policy factors that influence active living at the population level.

The researchers aim to identify target groups in need of interventions and to inform evidence-based practice to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity.

Research focus

The team is guided by the social ecological model which provides a framework for the complex network of individual, social, environmental and policy factors affecting sedentary behaviour and physical activity for individuals, communities and populations. Program research takes into account the following factors:

  • individual development of personal activity habits, attitudes, intentions and motivators for change
  • social issues affecting community norms and social support
  • physical environmental issues like neighbourhood features, open-space access, safety and transport
  • policy engagement with active living initiatives on local, state and federal government levels.

This work makes an important societal contribution by increasing our understanding of trends in sedentary behaviour and physical activity at the community level and evidence-based interventions to promote active living. The research has broad application for public policy, community facility development and promoting the quality of life for whole populations.

Major projects

  • Active and health ageing through sport
  • Active and healthy ageing in the community
  • Health through sport/sport and recreation
  • Fit and well study
  • Workplace wellness programs
  • Reducing sitting in the workplace
  • Sons of the West
  • Community Benefits of Victorian Aquatic and Recreation Centres
  • Sedentary behaviour in older adults.

View related Honours projects.


van Uffelen JGZ, van Gellecum Y, Burton NB, Peeters G, Heesch KC, Brown WJ. (2013). "Sitting-time, physical activity and depressive symptoms in mid-aged women". American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(3):276–281.

Maher C, Burton NW, van Uffelen JGZ, Brown WJ, Sprod JA, Olds TS. (2013). "Changes in use of time, activity patterns and health and wellbeing across retirement: Design and methods of the Life After Work study". BMC Public Health, 13:952.

Eime, RM., Young, JA., Harvey, JT., Charity, MJ., Payne, WR. (2013). "A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for adults: Informing development of a conceptual model of Health through Sport". International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:135.

Bennie JA, Chau JY, van der Ploeg HP, Stamatakis E, Do, A., Bauman, A. (2013). "The prevalence and correlates of sitting in European adults - a comparison of 32 Eurobarometer-participating countries". International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:107.

Banting, LK, Gibson-Helm, M., Polman, R., Teede, HJ., Stepto, NK. (2014) "Physical activity and mental health in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome". BMC Women's Health, 14(51).

Wilmot EG, Edwardson CL, Biddle SJH, Gorely T, Henson J, Khunti K, Nimmo MA, Yates T, & Davies M J (2013). "Prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose metabolism in younger ‘at risk’ UK adults: insights from the STAND programme of research". Diabetic Medicine, 30(6), 671-675. doi: 10.1111/dme.12173.

Dempsey P C, Owen N, Biddle SJH, & Dunstan DW (2014). "Managing sedentary behaviour to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease". Current Diabetes Reports, 14. doi: DOI 10.1007/s11892-014-0522-0.


Staff contributing to the Active Living and Public Health research program:

Students contributing to the Active Living and Public Health research program:

  • Gabby Ansems
  • Claire Jenkin
  • Katie McDonald.