Dr Jo Hudson Sub-theme lead for health and wellbeing 8 February 2021

Joanne is a sport and exercise psychologist who is part of the Health and Wellbeing research cluster within the Awen Institute with an interest in understanding the psychological and social aspects of older adults’ physical activity, sport and exercise experiences.

Before joining the Awen Institute, her research has explored older adults’ experiences of strength and balance training programmes as part of multi-factorial falls prevention interventions. These studies have examined older adults’ motivation, identity, self-talk and their personal narratives. Some of the study findings have supported the value of these programmes for helping these older adults to increase their sense of connection to others, to strengthen their physical activity identity, and, for some, to develop a personal narrative of growth, positive ageing and personal control. The research also showed the value of competence and autonomy-enhancing self-talk for maintaining motivation to continue physical activity.

Joanne’s current research projects are exploring the impact of existing community-based interventions for older adults, developing interventions to enhance older adults’ physical and mental wellbeing, attempting to understand the roles of transitions and age stereotypes on physical activity, and, changing perceptions of ageing and their implications for behaviour. Within the Awen Institute, she will continue this line of research, for instance, with planned studies that will explore the use of older adults’ home-spaces to try and increase their engagement in physical activity.

She and her colleagues in Sport and Exercise Science, Psychology and Computer Science will use movement sensors to map people’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour around their homes to develop a digital movement diary that can underpin interventions to increase physical activity and in doing so, enhance wellbeing and independence.


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