Using applied research to support the health and wellbeing of people and businesses

Many researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) work under the umbrella of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing theme working closely with individuals, communities and businesses to understand what affects quality of life in terms of physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. We can also support new product design and testing.

We find solutions based on evidence, developing new treatments and interventions, which can truly transform people’s lives.

Research in Applied Public Health looks at health protection, nutrition and food safety and the promotion of improved health and wellbeing.

Our Health Services researchers look into the delivery of healthcare services from access, effectiveness and quality, to use and costs. Working with the NHS, we explore rehabilitation and prevention within stroke care and the improvement of lives for cancer patients post-diagnosis and treatment.

The Centre for Applied Sport, Physical Activity and Performance highlights best practice and develops new methods of assessment and engagement of people taking part in sport, exercise and physical activity. Applied research includes; strength and conditioning, nutrition, physical activity, coaching and performance, sport in society, lifelong physical activity and exercise, and rehabilitation.

Focus on the Allied Health Research Unit, (AHRu)

The aim of this group is to improve the quality of life of patients treated by allied health professionals, developing new techniques to assess and manage musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, so that we can improve the quality and effectiveness of health services and care.

This includes working with businesses on the development and evaluation of products that are designed to interact with the body, and the effectiveness of surgical and therapeutic treatments, which are supported through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and UCLan’s ERDF funded Innovation Clinic.

Supporting this work is the Movement Analysis Laboratory - one of the top facilities of its type currently in use in Europe. It is equipped to conduct advanced motion analysis, force measurement, pressure measurement, muscle and strength assessment, and thermal imaging.  We also use a number of custom-made pieces of equipment that have been developed with commercial partners.

We work with many hospitals, clinics, community health services, voluntary sector agencies and other research groups throughout the region, across the UK and around the world.

We currently work with clinicians including; Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Podiatrists, Orthotists, Occupational Therapists, Surgeons, and Engineers through UCLan’s MedTech Solutions Group.

Our work has had a significant impact and we have:

  • influenced changes in clinical practice
  • been involved with the development and testing of healthcare products and medical devices
  • supported the professional development of healthcare professionals

Find out more about our work or email Professor Jim Richards at 

Firefighters’ cancer risk identified through new national database

We have recently created a new nationwide database to assess the potential link between exposure to fire toxicants and the increased occurrence of cancers and other diseases among firefighters. Working with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and Royal Preston Hospital, we will analyse data to identify and recognise the most common cancers and diseases related to firefighters’ work. We will then be able to offer preventative health screening, education and support that is specifically designed to protect firefighter’s health. Find out more here

Find out more about how we work with businesses through research.

Contact us to find out more: 01772 895500 (Twitter Icon) @UCLanBusiness