Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC)

Getting people moving and reducing sedentary time are major public health goals. Our research aims to help people of all ages be more active, to sit less and move more. We seek to create an active research environment that will inform teaching (particularly the MSc in Physical Activity for Health) and knowledge exchange in related areas.


To be an internationally recognised centre of excellence for research, knowledge exchange and impact in the field of physical activity for health.  


To support people in Scotland and further afield to be more active for improved health and well-being. 


  • To conduct high-quality research in physical activity for health
  • To secure funding to support our research
  • To publish our research in peer-reviewed journals
  • To maximise impact through facilitating dissemination, uptake and use of our research findings
  • To actively participate in the wider physical activity and health community to facilitate knowledge exchange
  • To mentor and develop the next generation of physical activity researchers, policy makers, advocates and practitioners
  • To maintain and nurture a positive research culture in line with the PAHRC ethos

Study with us

MSc Physical Activity for Health

PAHRC members direct the MSc in Physical Activity for Health, which links closely with our research. This graduate programme is designed to tackle the physical inactivity pandemic, enhancing knowledge and understanding of the global issues related to physical activity for health.

What our students say about the course

BMedSci Physical Activity for Health

Our intercalated BMedSci in Physical Activity for Health allows medical students to study this critical aspect of global health. Overall, this programme will allow future doctors to better understand the physical, social and mental health impacts of physical activity, as well as exercise as how exercise can work as medicine and prescription. Doctors trained in physical activity for health will make an important contribution to fighting physical inactivity and the associated diseases. This course is ideal for medical students with a passion for lifestyle medicine, an interest in prevention as well as treatment, and those concerned with chronic diseases of the body and mind.

Other courses

PAHRC members also teach on:

Postgraduate research opportunities (PhD, MPhil, MRes)

We welcome students interested in undertaking postgraduate research in the area of physical activity for health. We are also able to host visiting research students who may wish to collaborate on shared research interests. More information about postgraduate studies, including potential supervisors' availability and areas of interest, is available in our Research Degrees section.  

PAHRC members

Students walking a walkway in The Meadows
Members of the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) team.

PAHRC research

Two women running outside
PAHRC's research interests and projects.


Save the date: Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections (SPARC) conference, 4 December 2024

Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections (SPARC), established in 2016, is a network of physical activity researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in Scotland. It is organised by PAHRC and the Active Scotland Division at the Scottish Government. SPARC's annual conference provides an opportunity to network and to learn more about the latest research in the field of physical activity for health. More information is available on the SPARC website.

Visit the SPARC website  

PAHRC Weekly Seminar Series - Wednesdays 12:05-13:00 during term time

PAHRC holds weekly internal and external seminars. PAHRC researchers, students and visiting scholars come to give presentations, discuss research and answer questions. 

If you would like to attend a conference or contribute to the seminar series, please contact our research and knowledge team by email at 


Park Power: Strength and balance exercises

Strength and balance are forgotten aspects of our fitness. There are nine strength and balance exercise for you to follow in this PDF, created by Professor Nanette Mutrie.

They were originally designed for signs in a park (and maybe you can use this to persuade your local park to install them). But you could easily adapt them to do in your own house!

Download the exercises (PDF)  

'Walk in the PAHRC' podcasts

Episode 1: 'The Pace' discussion

Episode 2: Walking for wellbeing


Watch us on YouTube

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Professor Marie Murphy

Director of PAHRC

Contact details



Moray House School of Education and Sport
Holyrood Campus
St Leonard’s Land, 2.27

PAHRC Research Centre

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport

Contact details



Moray House School of Education and Sport

2.29 St Leonard’s Land, Holyrood Road
Post Code