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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

In the news

Applying Health and Fitness Science into Practice Symposium

Top 5 Reasons to Walk to Work

To celebrate Walk to Work Week, John Downey, St Mary’s University, Twickenham John Downey, has written his top reasons to explain why active travel is great Find out more...

Centre for Workplace and Community Health Runs Competition to Boost Workplace Exercise

The Centre for Workplace and Community Health at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has boosted health in local workplaces after hosting a running competition Find out more...

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact our Communications and Public Engagement Manager, Sam Yarnold, by emailling or calling 020 8240 8262.

Areas of expertise

Behaviour change, Evaluation, Implementation science, Preventing chronic disease through lifestyle

Media experience

Interview for news/magazine article, online video content