Research update: physical activity and mood monitoring

My name is Gemma McCullough and I am a final year PhD research student with BDRN at the University of Worcester. My research explores relationships between physical activity and inactivity, and mood symptoms in people with bipolar disorder. Last Summer I carried out a series of interviews with BDRN participants to try to understand what links there are, if any, between their mood and how physically active or inactive they are day to day, and I was delighted to have received such a positive amount of interest. Fifteen participants volunteered and were interviewed, which led to some really interesting results. It was very helpful to hear how some people have used physical activity to regulate their mood, and to explore what the barriers are to being more physically active. I am extremely grateful to everyone who gave up their time to talk to me, and for being so open and welcoming. I am currently analysing these results and hope to share the findings in more detail soon. More recently, I have been recruiting BDRN participants to wear a small activity monitor called an ActivPAL for a week and to complete a daily mood diary to further explore relationships between physical activity/inactivity and mood. Again, the response and interest has been phenomenal, with over fifty people now having taken part in this study, which has produced some amazing data that I am excited to start analysing. I would like to say a huge thank you again to everyone who has taken part in either or both studies, without your input this research would not be possible, and I really appreciate the time and effort put in to helping us with this research.