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John Downey

Lecturer - Health and Exercise Science

About Research Media

John is an exercise specialist with a particular interest in lifestyle behaviour change, health services, and implementation science. John has a detailed background in sports and the health and fitness industry. A BSc in Nutrition with Sport Science saw him branch into performance nutrition working mainly with young elite athletes. However, his interest in behavioural science led him to undertake an MSc in Preventive Cardiology from Imperial College London.

John is a keen practitioner and holds the REPS accredited qualifications in exercise referral and cardiac rehabilitation. John has an interest in the active ingredients to support lifestyle behaviour change along with the everyday practice of these evidence-based components. Through his work in exercise referral, cardiac rehab, and other brief supporting roles in cancer and low back pain schemes; John is motivated to better understand how and why policy/evidence is implemented in complex settings. He is currently undertaking his postgraduate studies examining the causal factors influencing the fidelity of behaviour change practices in exercise referral.

John has completed his PGCert in Academic Practice and prides student exposure to experiential learning. His previous work with London Sport and the British Heart Foundation in prompting workplace health allows a good avenue between academic and student experiential learning.



  • Exercise referral
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Athlete behaviours
  • Well-being services in the UK
  • Intervention fidelity
  • Health psychology

Find an expert

Areas of expertise: Behaviour change, Evaluation, Implementation science, Preventing chronic disease through lifestyle

Preventable disease places the largest strain on our health system. Despite calls, and subsequent policy mandates, aimed at decreasing the health burden caused by lifestyle behaviours the resultant impact has been negligible. There needs to be a robust acknowledgement of the complexity of real life, from the patients we see to the implementation of guidelines. Novel methods to evaluate changes in behaviours across the health nexus is needed to advance public health

Media Experience: Interview for news/magazine article, online video content

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact our Communications and Public Engagement Manager:

Sam Yarnold
020 8240 8262