Professor Stuart Fairclough

Professor of Physical Activity Education

Research Group and Institute

  • Movement Behaviours, Health & Wellbeing Research Group
  • Postgraduate Medical Institute


Stuart is Professor of Physical Activity Education and member of the senior management team in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity, where he oversees and teaches on the Physical Education and School Sport undergraduate degree programme. Stuart Chairs the Department Research Committee and is the Department Research and REF Coordinator.

Stuart joined Edge Hill in 2014 having previously worked at Liverpool Hope University (1998-2001) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) (2001-2014) as a Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor. He was awarded his PhD from LJMU in 2005, having completed his MSc in Sports Science (1997) at Loughborough University, and BEd (Hons) in Physical Education (1994) at LJMU. He is a professional member of the BASES and an afPE member.


Stuart’s research focuses on physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and health with an emphasis on children and young people and the role of schools in activity promotion. His research aligns to the behavioural epidemiological framework with key aspects relating to physical activity and sedentary behaviour measurement, their correlates, and interventions to change activity behaviours and health outcomes. Stuart has published over 100 peer-review journal articles, supervised 18 PhD students to completion, examined 19 PhD candidates, and has been awarded over £0.5M in external grant funding. He is co-editor of the newly commissioned Routledge Handbook of Youth Physical Activity (with Tim Brusseau and David Lubans). Stuart regularly collaborates with research colleagues nationally and internationally.

External Engagement

Stuart’s external engagement activities include:

  • Associate Editor (Physical Activity, Exercise and Health Section ) Journal of Sports Sciences (2017-)
  • Editorial Board member (Health Behaviour, Chronic disease and health promotion section)
  • International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2017-)
  • HEFCE REF 2021 Unit 24 Panel Member (2019-2021)
  • Expert Working Group Member, UK Chief Medical Officers Physical Activities Guideline for Children and Young People Review (2018-)
  • Steering Committee Member. Families reporting every step to health (FRESH) intervention, Cambridge University (2017-)
  • External Evaluator, BEd Physical Education and Sports Studies, University of Quatar (2016)
  • Department of Health Expert Group: Physical Activities Guidelines for Children; Infographic for Health Care Professionals (2015-2016)
  • NICE Evidence Update Advisory Group: PH17 Prmoting Physical Activity for Children and Young People (2014-2015)
  • External Examiner MSc Physical Activity and Public Health, Loughborough University (2013-2015)
  • External Examiner BA Physical Education, Leeds Metropolitan University (2006-2009)
  • External Examiner Foundation Degree in Sport & Exercise Science, University of Central Lancashire (2006-2010)
  • External Advisor for the validation of foundation degrees in Sports Coaching, Exercise and Fitness, Leisure Management. University of Central Lancashire (2004-2006)

Selected Publications

  • Boddy, L.M., Noonan, R., Kim, Y., van Hees, V., Rowlands, A.V., Welk, G.J., Knowles, Z.R., and Fairclough, S.J. (2018) Comparability of children’s sedentary time estimates derived from wrist worn GENEActiv and hip worn ActiGraph accelerometer thresholds. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. DOI:
  • Noonan, R.J. and Fairclough, S.J. (2018) Is there a deprivation and maternal education gradient to child obesity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in England? Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study. Pediatric Obesity. DOI:
  • Fairclough, S.J., Weaver, R.G., Johnson, S., and Rawlinson, J. (2018) Validation of an observation tool to assess physical activity-promoting physical education lessons in secondary schools: SOFIT+. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 21(5): 495-500. DOI:
  • Owen, M.B., Curry, W.B., Kerner, C., Newson, L., and Fairclough, S.J. (2017) The effectiveness of school-based physical activity interventions for adolescent girls (11-18 years): A systematic review and meta-analysis. Preventive Medicine, 105:237-249. DOI:
  • Fairclough, S.J., Dumuid, D., Taylor, S., Curry, W., McGrane, B., Stratton, G., Maher, C., and Olds, T. (2017) Fitness, fatness and the reallocation of time between children’s daily movement behaviours: an analysis of compositional data. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 14:64.
  • Fairclough, S.J., Noonan, R., Rowlands, A.V., van Hees, V., Knowles, Z.R., and Boddy, L.M. (2016) Wear compliance and activity in children wearing wrist and hip mounted accelerometers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 48(2): 245-253. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000771
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