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Dr Sophie Phillips

Research Assistant

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Research Assistant in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences  
Postgraduate Associate of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


Sophie is a Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, leading a Cochrane review on Interventions to prevent obesity in children aged 2-4 years. Prior to this Sophie completed her PhD in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research (NIHR SPHR) through Fuse the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health. During her PhD Sophie examined options for the measurement of movement behaviour (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep) of pre-school aged children at scale. Read more about Sophie's PhD research on her NIHR SPHR profile. Sophie has a MSc in Health Psychology from Staffordshire University and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Liverpool.

Follow Sophie on Twitter: @SophMPhillips


Sophie’s research interests centre on the public health priority of improving child health early in life. Sophie’s research primarily focuses on movement behaviour (physical activity, play, sedentary behaviour, and sleep) in the early years, including examining the quality of measurement tools used to assess these behaviours and exploring the effectiveness of interventions for healthy growth and development, including through outdoor nature-based play. Sophie’s research has a consideration of health inequalities embedded throughout.

Teaching Areas

Sophie has taught on the following modules within the Department since 2018:

  • Introduction to Physical Activity, Diet and Health
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Industries 
  • Contemporary Research Methods for Sport and Exercise Sciences

Sophie has also delivered Supported Progression and Sutton Trust residentials at the university and has worked at science outreach festivals.

Esteem Indicators

  • 2018: :
    • British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology, Best MSc Health Psychology Research Project Prize


Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Phillips, S.M. (2021). ‘Let’s Get Little Ones Moving!’ Infographic of early years physical activity.
  • Phillips, S.M. & Mowbray, R. (2021). PhD researcher on secondment at County Durham Sport (January to March 2021) – Sophie Phillips (Durham University).
  • Phillips, S.M., & Mowbray, R (2021). Working together to tackle inequalities and inactivity.


  • Phillips, S. M. (2021). Early Years Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Report.