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Professor Cassandra Phoenix


Professor in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing
Lead of Moving Bodies Lab in DRP-MH in the Institute for Medical Humanities


I have an ongoing research interest in physical activity - or moving bodies – in relation to experiences of health and wellbeing across time and space.

This work has been developed within the context of ageing (specifically mid and later life) through, for example, projects exploring how women experience movement during menopause, and how sport and movement in later life can become a vehicle through which ageism is both resisted and reinforced. My research in this area has also examined how chronic conditions typically diagnosed in mid and later life (e.g. Ménière’s disease, characterised by symptoms of severe vertigo, tinnitus / hearing loss), and/or disability (e.g. late onset sight loss) recalibrates everyday experiences of movement, including rhythm, arrythmia and stillness.

My interest in moving bodies also extends to the spaces and places that bodies move in and through. This has involved how people engage and connect with “natural environments” when seeking health and wellbeing (via a focus on weather elements, pollution, blue/green spaces), and the ways in which this is shaped and constrained by broader social forces and inequalities. This line of research is also examining how older bodies move – and could be supported to move more - in confined spaces such as prison environments.

Through my research I seek to work in partnerships and across disciplines to ask different questions of physically (in)active bodies as they age. The answers – while often nuanced - can enrich our response to the seemingly intractable problem for population and planetary health of rising levels of physical inactivity and sedentary practices.

I lead the Moving Bodies Lab, as part of the Discovery Platform for Medical Humanities.

My research has been supported by a range of funders, including the ESRC, the Wellcome Trust, World Health Organization, NIHR, Leverhulme Trust, The Nuffield Foundation, along with a range of Charities and partnership organisations.

I serve on the Editorial Boards for: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport; Journal of Aging Studies; and Methods in Psychology.

Guest Editor roles:

Forthcoming: Special Issue of Methods in Psychology – ‘Arts-Based Methods in Psychology’ (with Professor Kerry Chamberlain).

2010: Special issue of Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health – ‘Visual Methods in Physical Cultures’.

PhD Supervision
I welcome enquiries and applications that connect with the research areas outlined above.

Research interests

  • Ageing and Active Mobilities
  • Everyday Ageism
  • Weather and Wellbeing
  • Coastal Blue Space, Health and Wellbeing

Esteem Indicators


Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


Supervision students