Intellectual Disabilities Lifestyle and Wellbeing Research

About us

Our group is the UK's first research group with a specific focus on promoting healthy lifestyles for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  We are a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, School of Medicine, and School of Life Sciences.  Ongoing research collaborations exist with the Universities of Edinburgh and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Weight Management Service, and strong relationships with service user and carer organisation, and intellectual disabilities charities.

Click on the links to read about our group members and current projects.

Click here to watch a short video about the WELLDO weight management study.

Research objectives

Our aim is to be the authoritative international voice on research about healthy lifestyles for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Our primary focus is on the development, implementation, and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health-related outcomes for this population.

Our main research objectives are:

  1. To conduct high quality, ethical research that will increase our understanding of physical activity, obesity and nutritional status in individuals with intellectual disabilities. 
  2. To engage and collaborate with policymakers and international research groups to ensure our work has a wide and relevant impact.
  3. To provide and develop training opportunities for postgraduate students and early career researchers.

We have research interests in:

  • Physical activity and weight management/dietary interventions in children and adults
  • Physical activity and mental health/well-being
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Measurement and determinants of physical activity
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • School-based physical activity

Sharing information

Knowledge exchange and public engagement is a key aspect of our work.

We collaborate with researchers from across Europe and are involved with the design of UK or Scottish or both government policy related to the health of individuals with disabilities.  We work in partnership with local additional support needs schools and have ongoing public engagement activities, including with the Glasgow Science Festival and Glasgow Science Centre.