Investigating the Experiences and Fundamental Changes (i.e. Biomechanical, Physiological, Psychological) of Women Exercising during Pregnancy and Postpartum
Funded by Adidas

Proposed Project
During pregnancy and postpartum, exercise has been shown to have multiple benefits for women and is actively encouraged in health guidelines worldwide (Mills et al. 2020). However, there can be several barriers for women which prevent them or limit their exercising habits during these periods (Makama et al. 2020). Some of the identified barriers could be related to the significant anatomical, physiological, psychological and biomechanical changes that women experience, however little is understood as to how these changes affect a woman exercising and the possible role that sports products could have in supporting exercise during these periods. There is a growing trend for the development of female specific sports and exercise products but it is unclear how suitable these are for pregnant or postpartum women when exercising given the substantial changes they experience. These insights can be useful for adidas, who will be supporting this PhD, in providing knowledge for users and developing new and innovative products.

The studentship will appeal to students with a sports science or sports engineering/technology background. Initial studies will build on established research in the Sports Technology Institute. It is intended that a variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques will need to be used. There is also scope to use advanced analytic techniques to determine subject specific biomechanics requiring some existing experience of using software such as Matlab, R, Python or similar. The direction of the PhD is flexible and can be partially moulded to suit the strengths and interests of the successful candidate.

If interested in applying for the PhD please send a CV and covering letter to Dr Aimee Mears, Lecturer at the Sports Technology Institute (A.C.Mears@lboro.ac.uk) by 23rd November. Successful applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview for the week beginning 29th November. If any further information is required then please direct them to A.C.Mears@lboro.ac.uk.

Deadline application: 23rd November 2021

PhD start date: January 2022