Professor Nanette Mutrie MBE

Professor Emerita

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport, ISPEHS research cluster
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Physical Activity for Health Research Centre [PAHRC]

Contact details



Moray House School of Education and Sport, SL 2.27

University of Edinburgh (Holyrood Campus)
Post code


Nanette Mutrie retired as Chair of Physical Activity for Health at the University of Edinburgh in January 2022. Nanette has been directing the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) since 2012. She will continue to be associated with PAHRC. Her research relates to helping people ‘move more’. She has over 300 peer reviewed publications and the 4th edition of the text book  she co-authors ‘The Psychology of Physical Activity for Health” was published by Routledge in 2021. A particular interest for Nanette is how to communicate about physical activity to the public and she is chair of the Active Scotland Development Group. Recently Nanette has joined the board of Paths for All and strongly believes that ‘walking is the best buy’. Nanette received an MBE from the Queen in 2015 for services in Physical Activity for Health in Scotland. Her own activity involves dog walking, walking the golf course, playing pickleball and commuting by bike whenever possible.

Nanette is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. She has extensive experience of conducting interventions aimed at increasing physical activity. With her students and colleagues she has more than 200 peer reviewed publications in this area. The third edition of a text book, first co-authored with Stuart Biddle in 1991, was published by Routledge in Janaury 2015 (Biddle, Mutrie, Gorely ‘Psychology of physical activity: determinants, well-being, and interventions’).

Her inaugural lecture entitled, ‘Encouraging people to sit less and walk more’, was given at the University in December 2013 and can be viewed below. A Beltane Fellowship during 2013 allowed her to work in the Scottish Parliament Building encouraging people there to ‘sit less and walk more’. The final seminar from that Fellowship, held in the parliament building, can be viewed below.

She has also contributed to policy, for example, ‘let’s make Scotland more active’ and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) programmes on physical activity and the environment and the promotion of walking and cycling. She is currently a member of the National Strategic Oversight Group for Physical Activity in Scotland.

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence website

Current collaborative projects include ‘EuroFIT’, ‘RuFIT’,‘Secure FIT, FFIT follow-up (all delivering a successful lifestyle and weight management programme to sports fans in different locations) ‘walkwell’ (walking programmes for people with learning disabilities), ‘actwell’ (lifestyle counselling for women attending breast cancer screening), ‘USP’ (examining sedentary behaviour patterns in older adults), M74 (an investigation of the impact of a new motorway on travel patterns) and eCoacher (web enhanced delivery of exercise referral schemes). She gets her own exercise by commuter cycling, dog walking and playing golf (badly so a lot more walking involved!).

Physical Activity for Health Reserach Centre (PAHRC)

Institure of Sport, PE and Health Sciences

Undergraduate teaching

Pscyhology of Physical Activity Psychology

Exercise for Rehabilitation

Postgraduate teaching

M.Sc Physical Activity for Health

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

 topics related to physical activity for health

Current PhD students supervised

  • Andrew Murray  - Golf for Health
  • Chloe Williamson - PA messaging

Research summary

Nanette is leading the development of the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh. Please click on PAHRC website below to see our current projects

Physical Activity for Health Research Centre [PAHRC]

If you are interested in physical activity for health please drop me an email - our colllaborations are developing and we would love to hear from you!

Email Nanette

Current research interests

physical activity for health; encouraging people to sit less and move more; prevention and treatment of diseases through increasing physical activity

Project activity

Projects are best viewed on PAHRC website

Current project grants

Grants are best viewed on PAHRC website

View all 274 publications on Research Explorer