Dr Fiona Gillison is a Chartered Psychologist and Head of Department for Health at the University of Bath. Her research interests centre on how we can support people to improve their health behaviours, particularly focusing on promoting physical activity and diet.

Based at the University of Bath since 2004, Fiona has been dedicated to encouraging healthy lifestyles and prevention of disease for many years, following experience of working within the NHS to support stop smoking, and weight management clinics.

“Health is at the centre of our consciousness like it has never been before. The COVID pandemic has encouraged people to value the benefits of daily exercise, avoid becoming overweight if they can and talk more about the link between health behaviours and how the mind works. We have also frequently heard from health psychologists who are part of the Government’s SAGE committee about how we can support people to stick to government advice. This has also highlighted the importance of behavioural science as an integral part of any attempt to help people to change their behaviour.

Cardiovascular diseases have been on the rise, but it’s not people who have changed to cause this, it’s the environment. We have developed increasingly inactive lifestyles through the ways we work, travel and socialise, also changing what, when and how we eat.

Our research aims to help people find ways of making healthy choices within the environment they live in, and to move from the early stages of making a change when each decision feels like a large effort, to a point when these healthy behaviours come a sustainable habit. When our behaviours become a habit, the things we do are almost automatic and just part of our routine, like turning on the kettle or brushing teeth when you get up in the morning. Our daily routines have been completely transformed in the past 12 months, and we will all have noticed the difference this has had on our habits – and how hard they are to break once established.

The strength of sports, health and exercise science in Bath, and the expertise within the research team make this project really exciting. A unique approach via Super Rehab which incorporates behavioural science at the heart of the project would mean directly supporting patients at a time when it will be most important to them. We hope the personalised pathways we work with patients to develop will help to instil new behaviours that fit well within their routines and that last. There’s also huge potential to scale up the scope of the research.”

As well as leading the Department for Health (a team of around 100), Fiona can be found cycling and walking the many routes around Bath that our local landscape has to offer. Talking via video call, it is clear that you could get lost in conversation with Fiona for hours. Teleporting would be the superpower of choice, but you can imagine having Fiona as a travel buddy would make a long journey pass by in the blink of an eye.

Based at the University of Bath since 2004, Fiona has been dedicated to encouraging healthy lifestyles and prevention of disease for many years, following experience of working within the NHS to support stop smoking, and weight management clinics.

“Health is at the centre of our consciousness like it has never been before. The COVID pandemic has encouraged people to value the benefits of daily exercise, avoid becoming overweight if they can and talk more about the link between health behaviours and how the mind works. We have also frequently heard from health psychologists who are part of the Government’s SAGE committee about how we can support people to stick to government advice. This has also highlighted the importance of behavioural science as an integral part of any attempt to help people to change their behaviour.

Cardiovascular diseases have been on the rise, but it’s not people who have changed to cause this, it’s the environment. We have developed increasingly inactive lifestyles through the ways we work, travel and socialise, also changing what, when and how we eat.

Our research aims to help people find ways of making healthy choices within the environment they live in, and to move from the early stages of making a change when each decision feels like a large effort, to a point when these healthy behaviours come a sustainable habit. When our behaviours become a habit, the things we do are almost automatic and just part of our routine, like turning on the kettle or brushing teeth when you get up in the morning. Our daily routines have been completely transformed in the past 12 months, and we will all have noticed the difference this has had on our habits – and how hard they are to break once established.

The strength of sports, health and exercise science in Bath, and the expertise within the research team make this project really exciting. A unique approach via Super Rehab which incorporates behavioural science at the heart of the project would mean directly supporting patients at a time when it will be most important to them. We hope the personalised pathways we work with patients to develop will help to instil new behaviours that fit well within their routines and that last. There’s also huge potential to scale up the scope of the research.”

As well as leading the Department for Health (a team of around 100), Fiona can be found cycling and walking the many routes around Bath that our local landscape has to offer. Talking via video call, it is clear that you could get lost in conversation with Fiona for hours. Teleporting would be the superpower of choice, but you can imagine having Fiona as a travel buddy would make a long journey pass by in the blink of an eye.

Find out more about the Cardiovascular Research project.

For further information about the Cardiovascular Research or our current priorities please get in touch on 01225 825691 or forever.friends@nhs.net