Health and Wellbeing Global Challenge
The World faces a wide range of health and wellbeing challenges. Our multi-disciplinary research brings complex real world solutions to promote health and wellbeing across the life course.
Our research priorities
Global Public Health
We aspire to improve the health of everyone on the planet, by targeting research into water, sanitation and hygiene service provision in the context of climate change.
Natural systems are being degraded to an extent unprecedented in human history. This poses a huge problem to our planetary health.
Our societies face clear and potent dangers that require urgent and transformative actions to protect present and future generations but the present systems of governance and organisation of human knowledge are inadequate to address these threats.
Our research is developing vital solutions for enhancing quality of life and delivering improved health for all, together with respect for the integrity of natural systems. By improving governance, helping societies address the drivers of environmental change and promoting sustainable consumption and harnessing the power of technology for change, we can strengthen planetary health.
Sport, Exercise and Public Health
Loughborough University is internationally renowned for its research within the sport and exercise context. We aim to apply this world-class expertise to policies and practice that will benefit the health and wellbeing of the nation. Key is the promotion of the benefits of exercise and physical activity in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases (to reduce their impact on the NHS) and to accelerate the translation of high quality research into new models of patient care, with better patient outcomes.
As the national and regional lead for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, we are collaborating across disciplines and institutions to provide an international centre of excellence to transform the way in which physical activity and exercise are used in the prevention, treatment and management of long term conditions. The key themes for the Health and Wellbeing Challenge are:
- Physical activity in disease prevention
- Exercise in chronic disease
- Mental health and wellbeing
With £545,000 funding from EPSRC, our cross-disciplinary Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) network brings together experts from chemical engineering, sport and health sciences, chemistry, maths, and mechanical and manufacturing engineering.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes (harmful bacteria) develop a defence against the drugs (antibiotics) which are designed to kill them.
The majority of the world’s pathogenic bacteria have now developed some level of resistance to antibiotics used to treat them and medical professionals are at the stage of using last resort drugs. Integrated intervention approaches including developing new treatments, targeted drug delivery; rapid diagnostics, environmental decontamination strategies combined with better understanding of the human and social dimensions of the AMR problem are desperately needed.
The focus of our network is to improve the understanding of AMR across the University and beyond, and to identify opportunities and facilitate interdisciplinary research projects to help tackle this global health threat. Our network is trying to understand and explore mitigation strategies that relate to how the environment and human behaviour in community and healthcare settings enables the spread of resistance genes and the acquisition and transmission of antimicrobial resistant infectious agents.
Ageing, Frailty and Dementia
Our wide ranging research in ageing, frailty and dementia looks across a range of hot topics from individual issues for early diagnostics, modifiable risk and protective factors to systems analysis and evaluation in the provision of treatment and care to deliver safer, more productive and inclusive services for physical and mental wellbeing.
The ultimate goal of this interdisciplinary research is to deliver safer, more productive and inclusive services for optimal physical and mental wellbeing. This interdisciplinary work brings together expertise and knowledge from health sciences, human factors/ergonomics, psychology, biology, chemistry, engineering, design, organisational management and other disciplines to understand these individual and system challenges.
Our dementia research has three key areas –diagnostics, interventions and design. In our diagnostics research we have developed new tests and software for screening and computerised tests which are used in memory clinic assessments to aid early diagnostics and assessment of lifestyle and other treatments.
Our intervention research includes analyses of lifestyle interventions to reduce dementia risk and symptoms, such as diet, exercise and reduction of sedentary behaviours, as well as regenerative medicine approaches, including stem cell therapies.
Our design research, sponsored by the Department of Health, has published a review of evidence based dementia design and our AHRC (design star) research has collaborated with national and international designers and builders to produce dementia care environments.
We have a long track record of health technology research with support from EPSRC across a range of design, ergonomics (Human Factors) and engineering projects. We work with our research partners (patients, health and social care providers and the supply chain) to support a harmonised health and social care service that meets the extended needs of the individual and benefits the wider society.
Our impact has reduced NHS costs and improved patient care with evidence-based design to support standardization and procurement.