Robert Portman

PhD Researcher/Graduate Teaching Assistant

Research Group and Institute

  • Physical Activity and Health Research Group


Robert is currently undertaking a PhD in Public Health and Exercise Promotion within the Department of Sport and Physical Activity. He also contributes towards delivery of the Physical Education and School Sport (PESS) undergraduate programme

Before joining EHU in 2017, Robert was awarded an MSc by Research (2016) and BSc in Psychology w/ Criminology (2015) from the University of Huddersfield.


Robert’s PhD involves working in collaboration with West Lancashire Borough Council to evaluate their ‘Active West Lancs’’ scheme, an exercise referral scheme and healthy lifestyle initiative. This work will see him propose modifications to the current Active West Lancs’ scheme underpinned by recognized behavior change techniques and theory. Robert will also be conducting interviews with both service providers and service users to utilize their valuable first-hand experience in shaping the future of the scheme.

The primary focus of his PhD is to evaluate potential health benefits (short and long-term) associated with increased opportunity for social interaction within an exercise environment. He will also investigate the key factors underpinning social identification within this particular context.

Selected Publications

  • Portman, R., Bradbury, J. & Lewis, K. (2018). Social Physique Anxiety and physical activity behaviour of male and female exercisers. European Journal of Sports Science (EJSS), 18(2), 257-265.