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Physical Activity and Health


Physical activity symposium speakers

Our work in this vital aspect of human health specifically covers research into physical activity as a non-medical intervention applied throughout the lifespan.

Quality of life and movement potential are enhanced through promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation, and rehabilitation.

CHARR researchers work with a number of colleagues from around the University and have hosted three Physical Activity and Health Colloquium (2012, 2014, 2015).

CHARR is involved in leading a network of University researchers and community partners in the area of physical activity, health, and wellbeing.

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Current research projects

Umove wiiCurrent projects include:

Key publications

  • Mabire, L., Mani, R., Liu, L., Mulligan, H., & Baxter, D. (2017). The Influence of age, sex and body mass index on the effectiveness of brisk walking for obesity management in adults. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2016-0064
  • Timothy, E. K., Bown, B.-J., Beever, R. M., & Mulligan, H. F. (2017). Changes in walking levels of people with stroke following discharge from hospital: A pilot study. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 45(1), 17-23. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/45.1.03
  • Hall-McMaster, S. M., Treharne, G. J., & Smith, C. M. (2016). Positive thinking and physical activity motivation for one individual with multiple sclerosis: A qualitative case-study. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 44(1), 26-32. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/44.1.04
  • Baxter, S., Smith, C., Treharne, G., Stebbings, S., & Hale, L. (2016). What are the perceived barriers, facilitators and attitudes to exercise for women with rheumatoid arthritis? A qualitative study. Disability & Rehabilitation, 38(8), 773-780.
  • Campbell, K., Smith, C. M., Tumilty, S., Cameron, C., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). How does dog-walking influence perceptions of health and wellbeing in healthy adults? A qualitative dog-walk-along study. Anthrozos, 29(2), 181-192.
  • Sangelaji, B., Smith, C. M., Paul, L., Kovanur Sampath, K., Treharne, G. J., & Hale, L. A. (2016). The effectiveness of behaviour change interventions to increase physical activity participation in people with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 30(6), 559-576.
  • Smith, C. M., Treharne, G. J., Mulligan, H., & Hale, L. A. (2016). Using qualitative evidence to develop an intervention for enabling people with chronic disabling conditions to be more physically active. In K. Olson, R. A. Young & I. Z. Schultz (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative health research for evidence-based practice (pp. 453-472). New York: Springer.
  • Mansi, S., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., Hendrick, P., Higgs, C., & Baxter, G. D. (2015). Investigating the effect of a 3-month workplace-based pedometer-driven walking programme on health-related quality of life in meat processing workers: A feasibility study within a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health 15, 410.
  • Walter, T., Hale, L., & Smith, C. (2015). Blue prescription: A single-subject design intervention to enable physical activity for people with stroke. International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation, (2), 87-95.
  • Kannan, P., Chapple, C. M., Miller, D., Claydon, L. S., & Baxter, G. D. (2015). Menstrual pain and quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea: Rationale, design, and interventions of a randomized controlled trial of effects of a treadmill-based exercise intervention. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 42, 81-89.
  • Mulligan, H., Treharne, G. J., Hale, L. A., & Smith, C. (2013). Combining self-help and professional help to minimize barriers to physical activity in persons with MS. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy.

More Physical Activity and Health publications...

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Year Project title Funder
2017 Community exercise for long-term management of diabetes and multimorbidity HRC project, Health Delivery Stream
2017 Acceptability for the treadmill 6 minute walk test for pacific peoples HRC Pacific Summer Studentship
2017 A pedometer based walking programme for people with stroke: a feasibility study Physiotherapy Neuro Special Interest Group
2017 Physical activity and stroke OMRF, Summer studentship
2017 Personalised physical activity and motivational text messaging in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). School of Physiotherapy Trust
2016 Walking to better health after stroke UORG
2016 Does exercise using the Wii Fit™ Balance Board increase muscle strength and decrease instability in individuals with knee osteoarthritis: A feasibility study? MPPT
2016 Developing an intervention to promote physical activity engagement for people with multiple sclerosis living in rural settings: a feasibility study MPPT
2015 Longitudinal investigation of sedentary behaviour patterns and its predictors among New Zealanders with high risk of developing chronic diseases. Lottery Health Research
2014 Dunedin Community Exercise Programme WellSouth
2014 The Influence of Relative BMI on Energy Expenditure during Brisk Walking Physiotherapy New Zealand
2014 Development of a strategic framework to enable support persons to facilitate male stroke survivors to engage in physical activity Physiotherapy New Zealand
2014 Development of a strategic framework to enable support persons to facilitate male stroke survivors to engage in physical activity Canterbury Trust
2014 Early detection of hip/knee osteoarthritis to improve physical activity and self-efficacy Jack Thomson Arthritis Fund
2014 Physical activity and quality of life in persons with dysvascular and traumatic below-knee amputation NZALS
2014 Sedentary behaviour and its associations with psychosocial factors in individuals with high risk of developing type-2 diabetes mellitus. UORG
2013 Effects of aerobic training on menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial Physiotherapy New Zealand
2013 Are Mobile Methods a feasible way to ask people with chronic conditions about dog-walking and health? UORG
2013 Evaluation of a walking programme for people with rheumatoid arthritis MPPT
2013 Participation of children with physical disability  in leisure activities in New Zealand PNZ Paediatric Special Interest Group
2012 Wilson Home Trust
2012 Back 2 Activity Trial UORG
2012 The Otago back pain and lifestyle study Otago Branch PNZ
2011 How does fatigue influence community exercise participation in men with Multiple Sclerosis UORG
2010 Accessibility to physically active recreation: Toward full inclusion of people with physical disability in the New Zealand context Burwood Academy of Independent Living
2009 Blue Prescription: physiotherapy activity support package for chronic disability UORG
2009 Mardi Cup posture study SPAARC

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Graduate research

PhD candidates

Ally Calder

Access to physical activity for men following stroke.

Donald Manlapaz

The use of Nintendo Wii Fit™ in improving falls risk, balance and adherence to exercise in patients with Knee Osteoarthritis

Masters by Research candidates

Claire Hargest

A Fitbit™ based walking programme for people with stroke: a feasibility study

Emily Gray

Physical activity following coronary artery bypass graft surgery: Participant’s understanding and experiences

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News and Events

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National and international collaborators


  • Dr Paul Hendrick (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Suzanne McDonough (University of Ulster)
  • Professor Stephan Milosavljevic (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Dr Lorna Paul (University of Glasgow)


  • MS and Parkinson’s Society of Canterbury Inc
  • Silver Fern Meat Works
  • Physiotherapy Clinics

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