Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Title of research project
“Fit to Tackle”. The biopsychosocial implications of connecting mid-life male military veteran participants to a structured weight management and lifestyle programme embedded within Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club.
1. Outline of the research
Please provide a brief outline of the proposed research under the sub-headings below.
The research will seek to determine whether the activities within the Fit to Tackle (FTT) weight management and lifestyle programme influence a positive wellbeing for the particpants. Specific outcomes are to:

a. Determine the mental health (MH) and social benefits or detriments. Establish whether occupation, the support of the local medical services, lifetime stresses, stigma and help seeking behaviour are significant contributing factors in influencing and motivating access to weight management and lifestyles programmes. Thereby, the research will establish the life-course experiences and attitudes that influence exercise, diet, and alcohol uptake.

b. Examine the potential for “ripple effects” where the participant’s engagement in the programme is reflected in physical and MH benefits for other family members.

i. Aims and objectives
• The aim of the study is to determine the mental health (MH) and social benefits or detriments of a weight management and lifestyle program hosted at Warrington Wolves Rugby Club. The primary focus is obese and physically unfit mid-life male military veterans (aged 40 to 65) people.
• To examine if improved physical activity in a community based programme can result in to a healthier lifestyle indicated by sleep, nutrition, exercise, alcohol uptake and weight loss.

• Help distinguish the participant’s motivation for voulnteering for this community based programme taking into account: gender; age; relationship status; socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation and occupation.

i. Hypotheses and/or research question(s) to be addressed
• Can a physical activity interevention improve the mental health and wellbeing of participants?
• Are male military veterans more likely to access weight management programmes if they are conducted at or through a male dominated setting such as a professional sports club?
• What are the the effects upon the participants wider lifestyle such as their professional (work) and personal (relationships, home) lives?

What is the target population?
The target audience will be drawn from the Warrington military male veteran population aged between 40 and 65 years old, that are obese and physical unfit. The initial project was introduced as a Tier 2 weight management programme for men, but quickly extended in a modified form to women of the same aged and criteria.
In addition, the NW contains 1.7 million of the UK armed forces community comprising of serving personnel, reservists, their families and veterans of which 476,000 are veterans. Military veterans present with a number of emergent health issues including depression, alcohol / drug abuse, obesity, and are cited as dying younger. The Principal Investigator conducted 2 focus groups with armed forces charities and local council’s representatives that identified Veterans as shunning available health and social care whilst often feeling detached and excluded. During these focus groups, all participants indicted that they would agree to a future qualitative research study. The target is to understand these communities’ motivation to join this (and other) courses.
ii. Proposed method(s) of data analysis

The qualitative study will provide a medium to identify the health-related quality of life outcomes and behavioural changes. That being the impact the programme has on the participant’s health status including physical and MH wellbeing, emotional, and social functioning.

It will be a constructivist grounded theory study utilising semi-structured interviews (estimated N=12 to 15) with male veteran particip

University of Chester

The fact that it will enable Veterans to reintegrate back into civilian life after their service in HM Forces. The project aims to address both physical and mental health issues related to ex servicemen and women to decrease the risk of isolation and other related issues.

Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom