Cambridge University epidemiologist Dr David Ogilvie was keynote speaker at this seminar on 17 March 2016 jointly hosted by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, the Prevention Research Collaboration (PRC) at the University of Sydney and the Sax Institute.
Physical activity can reduce the risk and burden of many chronic diseases, but there is little evidence of public health strategies that have been effective in shifting population activity patterns in the right direction. The solutions may lie in environmental and policy changes well beyond the health sector, but these can be contentious or expensive and are often difficult to evaluate.
In his presentation, Dr Ogilvie explored the rationale for, and challenges of, attempting rigorous evaluation of environmental policies and interventions to promote a more active way of life.
Dr Ogilvie, who spoke about his work on evaluating large-scale urban infrastructure projects in the UK, said such evaluation could identify factors essential for improving public health.
The seminar, chaired by PRC Director Professor Adrian Bauman, also featured panellists Professor Don Nutbeam, Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute; Ms Elizabeth Flynn, from the Australian Government Department of Health; and Professor William Trochim from Cornell University.
About Dr David Ogilvie
Dr Ogilvie qualified in medicine at the University of Cambridge and trained in general practice in the east of England, in public health medicine in the west of Scotland, and in public health research at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, before returning to the University of Cambridge to join the MRC Epidemiology Unit in 2007.
He leads the Unit’s Physical Activity and Public Health research program, which explores population-level approaches to the promotion of active living by evaluating the effects of environmental and policy interventions and understanding related patterns and mechanisms of behaviour change. His methodological interests lie in the design of population-level intervention studies and in evidence synthesis. He specialises in the relationships between transport, the environment, physical activity and health and leads an interdisciplinary group of researchers working in this area, particularly on the design and analysis of natural experimental studies such as the Commuting and Health in Cambridge, iConnect and M74 studies.