Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Samanta Gudziunaite

Project: Investigating the interaction between physical activity, air pollution and health in children with asthma

PhD overview

PhD Title: Investigating the interaction between physical activity, air pollution and health in children with asthma

Funded by: Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Supervisors: Professor Melitta McNarry and Professor Kelly Mackintosh

Based at: Swansea University


Samanta Gudziunaite
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research PhD student, Samanta Gudziunaite

The health benefits associated with regular physical activity are well established. However, physical activity is likely to be associated with increased exposure to and intake of air pollution, negating some or potentially all of these health benefits. Those with asthma are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, with children most susceptible of all. Consequently, many children with asthma consciously avoid being active due to a fear of triggering an exacerbation. Therefore, it is imperative to identify strategies that allow children with asthma to safely engage in physical activity whilst minimising their exposure to air pollution. This project seeks to understand air pollution exposure patterns in children and their relationship with their health. I will achieve this by taking a patient public involvement approach to ensure that children's voices are heard during all stages of this intervention study. 

About me

Between my education and international work placements, I have developed a multi-disciplined background in qualitative and quantitative analysis. To date, I have worked in Zambia, Lithuania, France, and liaised with teams in Myanmar across multiple projects. Whilst my background is in medical anthropology, I have undertaken training in population health and now focus on building my career within epidemiology. Over the course of the last few years, I have realised that health inequalities are unprecedented, avoidable issues, as such, I am interested in better understanding how exposure to and intake of air pollution can directly influence a person's health and well-being. 

I am also a volunteer Research Coordinator at Doctors of the World UK, part of the Médecins du Monde network. Please feel free to contact me regarding any relevant projects: .


Research Interests

Social determinants of health, urban health, health inequalities, inclusion health and life-course epidemiology.

Educational Background

BSc Anthropology, Brunel University 2016 – 2020

MSc Population Health, University College London 2020 – 2021

PhD Sports Science, Swansea University 2021 – Present


Interim – Global Trends: The relationship between air pollution, physical activity and lung health in youth aged 5 - 16 years with and without asthma.


This PhD is funded by Asthma UK as part of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research.