BU Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, Dr Malika Felton was awarded the Early Career Researcher Award at the WiSEAN (Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network) conference in Liverpool in June 2023. She won this award for outstanding work in the field of women in sport and exercise science and was selected for the award by members of the WiSEAN scientific committee and fellow Early Career Researchers.
Dr Malika Felton presented her postdoc research from working with the Moving Through Motherhood research team, which is a group funded by the GW4 Alliance, including academics from other universities. The aim of the research was to use co-design methodology to investigate the information and guidance provided to women regarding being physically active during and after pregnancy. This means getting women and stakeholders involved in the research at all stages and co-designing physical activity information and guidance with those who it is most relevant for. Future funding is currently being sought to turn the ideas created by stakeholders, pregnant women and new mothers into co-designed resources and services to help increase physical activity during and after pregnancy.
Dr Malika Felton comments: ‘Receiving this award means a lot to me, as this is an area of research that’s really important surrounding the health of women during and after pregnancy and I hope to develop this research further.’
‘Pregnancy can be a key period in a women’s life to initiate change to a more active lifestyle and there is strong evidence of the health benefits of physical activity during and after pregnancy. However, current guidelines, including the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines in infographic format, were designed to be used by healthcare professionals and not to be shared directly with pregnant women and new mothers.’
Dr Malika Felton’s research highlights the importance of translating physical activity guidelines and related information into relevant and useable resources and services. Providing co-designed resources and services will lead to greater understanding and engagement with physical activity during and after pregnancy and hopefully lead to increased physical activity across the lifespan for women.