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Former King's Lynn student leading study on the effects of isolation during coronavirus pandemic

A former College of West Anglia student is leading a pioneering research study on the effects of isolation.

CWA governor Dr Lee Smith, is leading a global research study into the effects of lockdown and isolation on our behaviours, and health.

The alumnus is particularly interested in researching the effects of self-isolation upon; activities, social behaviour, social media use, drinking alcohol, smoking and health status.

Lee Smith (34730075)
Lee Smith (34730075)

Dr Smith said: “During this global pandemic, it is important to investigate the impact of self-isolation on health, behaviour and wellbeing.

“This will help us to understand the health implications of this current outbreak, separate to the effects of COVID-19 itself, and ensure that governments and health bodies are better informed if a similar event was to happen in the future.”

After studying a diploma in sport at CWA, Dr Smith went on to further study at Loughborough University, followed by a doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Cambridge.

After a period working as a senior scientist at University College London, he now works as a reader in Public Health and Director of the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences at the Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

CWA assistant principal, Andrew Gedge, said: “We are particularly proud of the research Dr Lee Smith is undertaking.

"As a previous sports alumnus, Lee joins a long list of alumni who have left us and progressed to work within academia, undertaking vital research to better understand our behaviours and how to improve our physical and mental health.

"As an active member of our governing body and a Reader in Public Health, he is especially inspirational to our current students and represents the endless possibilities available to them as they progress throughout their educational lives.”

To date, Dr Smith has published approximately 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

His main body of research involves looking at the impact of lifestyle behaviours on both physical and mental wellbeing and how we can increase physical activity within populations.

He recently appeared on the Horizon special, The Great British Intelligence Test, to discuss the correlation between excessive internet use with poor mental health in the wider context of to what extent our digital habits and love of technology are improving or harming our mental abilities.

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