Jo works as research associate/project manager for Project OPAL-Plus. This is the three-year follow-up study to the Older People and Active Living (OPAL) study, which was funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI, MRC-managed). She is also studying part-time for a PhD, using OPAL data. The title of her work is “Older adults: the neighbourhood and its relationship with physical activity and well-being.”
Jo’s main research interests:
developing and evaluating interventions to promote healthy, active ageing, through:
- increasing environmental, interpersonal and individual facilitators to being physically active, and mentally-healthy, across the life-span.
- mixed-methods and qualitative research design.
- research at the interface of academia, the community, service delivery and business.
- end-user consultation and involvement.
- helping contribute to policy, and sustainability in service provision, through streamlining research with practice and delivery.
Jo's other work interests:
- delivering plain English training to academic staff across the university: Jo supports development of ‘lay English’ writing skills across university activities, and our public engagement efforts.
- social pathways to health: social support, the influence of social capital and social marketing.
- teaching on centre MSc units: Research Methods (qualitative research: theory and practice) and Physical Activity and Nutrition Programmes.
- physical activity and mental health, the workplace, female adolescents.
- delivering pre-retirement health seminars to high level executives from blue-chip companies.
Jo re-joined the department in 2005, to help Professor Ken Fox and his team evaluate the ‘Dings’ environmental intervention (British Heart Foundation, one year). This was further to completing her own MSc in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health in the department (distinction, 2004). She had, previously been Bristol’s smoke-free public places advisor for two years, a health improvement post based within Bristol Primary Care Trust’s Directorate for Public Health (tobacco control). It was in the run-up to the introduction of the most important piece of UK public health legislation of recent times: in a city built on the tobacco trade! Jo also brings other experience to the department: administration management (bilingual), import-export and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language).
Jo is Bristolian ‘born and bred,’ and proud of this accolade! Her mainstays for keeping active are different types of exercise classes, squash, walking to work and the occasional, very slow jog. The secret to keeping on the move? Jo believes: variety is the spice of life!
Selected publications and conference contributions
Coulson JC, Fox KR, Lawlor DA, Trayers T. (In review). Residents’ diverse perspectives of the impact of neighbourhood renewal on quality of life and physical activity engagement: improvements but unresolved issues.
Fox KR, Hillsdon M, Sharp D, Cooper AC, Coulson JC, Davis M, Harris R, McKenna J, Narici M, Stathi A. (In review). Neighbourhood deprivation and physical activity in UK older adults.
Thompson JL, Bentley G, Fox KR, Davis M, Coulson JC, Stathi A. (In review). Food shopping habits, physical activity and health-related indicators among adults aged 70+ years.
Davis MG, Fox KR, Hillsdon M, Sharp DJ, Coulson JC, Thompson JL. (In press). Objectively measured physical activity in a diverse sample of older urban UK adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Coulson JC, Fox KR, Stathi A. (July 2010). Meaning of neighbourhood for older people and their reference to incidental physical activity. British Society of Gerontology 39th annual conference, Brunel University, Middlesex, UK. (Poster presentation - conference award-winner).
Stathi A, Coulson JC, Davis MG, Fox KR. (May 2010). Sharing good practice and knowledge: Avon Network for the Promotion of Active Ageing in the Community. National Coalition of Active Ageing meeting, London, UK. (Verbal presentation).
Coulson JC. (October 2009). Project OPAL (Older People and Active Living): emerging qualitative findings on concept of ‘neighbourhood’ and contrasting case reports. Invited academic seminar at University of the West of England, School of Health and Social Care, Bristol, UK. (Verbal presentation).
Coulson JC, Fox KR (June 2009). The impact of regenerated urban space on physical activity and well-being: the voices of adult and child neighbours. Annual conference of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Lisbon, Portugal. (Poster presentation).
Fox KR, Coulson JC, Davis MG, Thompson J, Trayers T. (September 2008). ‘The OPAL qualitative sub-study’ in Getting out and about: the role of physical activity and neighbourhood in older people’s lives. Annual conference of The British Society of Gerontology (symposium), Bristol, UK. (Verbal presentation).
Coulson JC, Fox KR. (2007). The Dings Home Zone and cycle-walkway, UK in (Schoeppe S, Baubach M, eds) Tackling obesity by creating healthy residential environments. Copenhagen: World Health Organization Europe. 71-79. Following attendance as a temporary advisor on the associated expert panel at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Bonn, Germany.
Coulson JC, Maudsley M. (2007). Playing it safe. [The JECH Gallery] Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 61, 10, 876.
Coulson JC, Trayers T. (2007). D for Division or Dream? [The JECH Gallery] Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 61, 1, 5.
Coulson JC, Trayers T, Cooper AR, Deem R, Fox KR, Hillsdon M, Lawlor DA, Ness AR, Riddoch CJ. (July 2006). Physical activity levels and attitudes towards their neighbourhood in school children from a deprived, inner city area. University of the West of England conference ‘Planning and designing healthy public spaces for young people in the 21st century,’ Bristol, UK. (Poster presentation).
For more information on Jo’s research activities, please visit the Project OPAL pages.