Investigating the use of temporary accommodation to house asylum seekers and refugees during the Covid-19 outbreak

A project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) rapid response to COVID-19, is to investigate the use of temporary accommodation to house asylum seekers during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Principal Investigator is Dr Taulant Guma, Lecturer in Human Geography at the School of Applied Sciences.

The re-housing of asylum seekers and refugees into hotels in Glasgow has been a growing social issue throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. There has been mounting concern over the welfare of displaced individuals in the city and numerous reports of crowded living conditions and lack of available healthcare, which is leaving asylum seekers vulnerable to the Coronavirus outbreak and other social issues.

Recent moves by private sector firms to relocate asylum seekers into ‘safe environments’ have been widely criticized, particularly for the difficulties in maintaining physical distancing in new crowded, shared spaces thus increasing the risks of exposure to Covid-19.

Organisations and stakeholders representing asylum seekers have reported the fear and distress that this move has caused for asylum seekers.

Well-publicized incidents of violence and suicide by asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow hotels last year have illustrated the added pressures facing private firms who are responsible for their re-housing to implement more protocols to ensure duty of care.

In addition, this re-housing has also made it difficult for charities to provide support to affected individuals, who are moved often at short notice.

Statistical analysis has shown that BAME groups have been most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in recent months. The role of housing vis-à-vis Covid-related risks is an area that has been identified as requiring attention in the UKRI’s call for research on BAME groups. Asylum seekers living in the UK in particular are one of the most marginalised groups in society, with most living in poverty, experiencing poor health with the pandemic placing them in one of the most at-risk groups.

The Edinburgh Napier study will adopt a digital ethnographic approach that is co-designed and co-produced with MORE (Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment), a grassroots migrant organisation run by people with experiences of asylum seeking, and the deliverables will be co-created with the partner organisation and migrant participants.

The year-long project will be headed by Dr Taulant Guma and his team includes Dr Gavin Maclean, and Dr Kiril Sharapov from the School of Applied Sciences; Dr Kirsten MacLeod from the School of Arts & Creative Industries; and Yvonne Blake and Robert Makutsa from MORE

The team will produce a social impact documentary, which will give a voice to asylum seekers’ experiences of housing during the Covid-19 pandemic in Glasgow.

“The film will have impact on several levels – through its process of production it will provide a space for dialogue and reflection allowing participants and community researchers to articulate and share the problems, issues and concerns they experience in what is an often lonely and hostile environment,” says Dr Guma.

“Our project will focus on this current and unfolding issue related to the provision of temporary accommodation for asylum seekers during the Covid-19 pandemic. It will examine what the situation is currently on the ground, how the crisis has accentuated the risk for those seeking asylum and develop responses with migrant communities to create a genuinely ‘safer environment’ for asylum seekers.”

The team’s key objectives are:

  • To identify factors and mechanisms which have placed asylum seekers living in temporary accommodation at greater risk of Covid-19 during this crisis.
  • To document the housing conditions and understand the impact of relocation from the perspectives and experiences of asylum seekers themselves.
  • To work with grassroots community groups to influence government policies and practices on asylum accommodation in order to address the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on those seeking asylum.
  • To influence media and public debate and raise awareness about the issues and challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees living in the UK.

For further information on this project contact T.Guma@napier.ac.uk

Local Partnership Resilience in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Deprivation, addictions and (re)offending are complex social problems. As such, it is recognised that it lies beyond the power of any single organisation to deal with them effectively, and partnership between different agencies ­- including the NHS, local authorities and charities – is key to addressing and resolving them.

But such integrated response has been impacted by the restrictions of lockdown and Covid.

Now a project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) rapid response to COVID-19, will investigate local partnership resilience. The Principal Investigator is Dr Jamie Buchan, Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Applied Sciences.

Jamie Buchan, Principal Investigator
The Principal Investigator is Dr Jamie Buchan from Edinburgh Napier University

In Scotland, local government has historically been more autonomous, relative to central government, than in England and Wales. The 2007-8 financial crisis and post-2010 austerity policies have seriously reduced budgets available for services in local areas. Scotland’s response has been to promote better partnership working between agencies in local areas, and reorient services towards prevention rather than response to adverse outcomes, to maintain the levels of service where possible while saving money.

Partnership and the ‘prevention principle’ were enshrined in the Christie Commission’s Report on the Future Delivery of Public Services, which makes Scotland a particularly fruitful area for the social study of local partnership arrangements.

The research team, which includes Andrew Wooff and Katrina Morrison, both colleagues from SAS, with support from a new Research Assistant, Carmen Nogales, will look at the operation of formal partnership arrangements in Scotland at the level of local authorities. These include Community Planning Partnerships, Community Justice/Reducing Reoffending Partnerships and Health and Social Care Partnerships.

Covid-19 and the associated lockdown have put huge strains on public services at this level, intensifying some social problems (e.g. isolation and domestic abuse) and putting extra strains on local authority funding in other ways. For instance, with very few people hiring venues, revenues fallen.

Not only that, but the actual ‘partnership work’ that goes on in such arrangements depends on clear lines of communication. The research team will look at evidence where local partnerships have risen to the challenges to overcome bureaucratic hurdles and develop innovative approaches to longstanding social problems. For example, street homelessness was dramatically reduced in the summer of 2020 as a result of local authorities and other organisations working together.

The team will also explore whether partnership work in other areas has been compromised or hindered by the pandemic, for example where regular in-person meetings have had to be replaced by virtual meetings.

“We are keen to identify policy lessons for local partnerships in the wider UK and beyond, and our intended outputs are very much geared towards this,” says Dr Buchan.

“The project will begin with an online survey of all Scottish local authorities, to gauge views generally and identify particular areas of concern and interest. This will be used to shape the second stage of the project, which will comprise in-depth interviews with personnel in a few Scottish local authorities. In this way we aim to be both ‘wide and deep’ in our approach.

“The aim is to understand how Covid-19 has impacted on local partnership arrangements, but also to identify examples of good and innovative adaptations to maintain partnership working and community resilience through the pandemic.”

The team’s research questions are:

    • 1. How has Covid-19 affected Scottish local partnership arrangements, in the short and medium term?
    • 2. How has Covid-19 affected efforts to implement the recommendations of the Christie Commission (particularly the prevention principle) in Scottish local government?
    • 3. How have Scottish local partnerships changed their practices to meet the challenge of the pandemic, and how can any progress be built upon?
    • 4. What are the implications of these for existing social inequalities?
    • 5. What are the potential lessons for other countries, particularly in terms of local partnership responses to crises?

For further information on the research programme contact j.buchan@napier.ac.uk

Royal Society fund two Entrepreneur in Residence appointments

Edinburgh Napier University has announced two Entrepreneur in Residence appointments through The Royal Society funded programme that is aimed at helping UK academic institutions to turn world-leading research and ideas into commercial impact and success.

The newly appointed Entrepreneurs in Residence will spend 20% of their time over a 12 month period with Edinburgh Napier University, sharing their experiences and helping to mentor, inspire and support students and academics with entrepreneurial goals and ideas.

The entrepreneurs appointed at Edinburgh Napier University are Dr Jamie Graves and Robert Goodfellow.

Robert Goodfellow, pictured above, was previously Head of Enterprise & Business Development at Heriot-Watt University. He will be working closely with the School of Applied Sciences to pass on his knowledge and help with entrepreneurial development,

Robert said “The Edinburgh Napier Applied Sciences Commercialisation and Entrepreneurism Training project (NASCENT) will identify & commercialise health & wellbeing IPRs, develop new staff and student entrepreneurs and build a lasting “commercial culture” across the three campuses”.

Dr Jamie Graves, who started his career as a research fellow in Napier’s School of Computing and went on to found and develop multi-award winning cyber security start up ZoneFox, will be bringing his experiences of developing IP to commercial impact to the School of Computing. Jamie said  “The purpose of this EIR project is to aid Edinburgh Napier University in its ambitions to replicate existing spin out and commercialisation success in its Centre of Cyber Systems & Cryptography. The work will  promote and emulate this success across the School of Computing.

“The project will aim to build a sustainable pipeline of entrepreneurs across all academic cohorts via a series of awareness and training events in order to increase commercial activity.

“Edinburgh Napier was the launch pad for me and my future successes so to be coming back as an Entrepreneur in Residence is really exciting and a great honour. I’m looking forward to being able to bring back some of the lessons I learned during my journey but also learning more during this new experience.”

Jamie Graves
The second Entrepreneur in Residence is Jamie Graves, who is working with the School of Computing

Commenting on the appointments, Fiona Mason, Head of Business Engagement and IP Commercialisation, said: “We are thrilled by the Royal Society’s support for the appointment of these two entrepreneur-in-residence posts. They will bring invaluable insight and experience to the University to the benefit of our staff and students. We are honoured to work alongside two such stellar and seasoned entrepreneurs and look forward to develop with them a successful programme for the future”.

Nick Fannin, Head of Enterprise at Napier’s Bright Red Triangle, who have helped support over 400 Napier student start-ups, also shared “We are really excited to be working with Jamie and Robert as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence this year. Their knowledge and experience will not only energise and inspire entrepreneurial activity across the University but also help our spin-outs and start-ups to take their businesses to the next level.”

Investigating New Types of Engagement, Response  And Contact Technology  in Policing 

Caption: The public is increasingly likely to encounter police in ways that are ‘technologically-mediated’.

 A major new research project will examine how police-public engagement is being changed by the use of new technologies. 

Over recent years, the ways in which members of the public can contact the police have undergone significant changes. As a result, the public is increasingly likely to encounter police in ways that are ‘technologically-mediated’  by new communication technologies; such as online reporting of crimes and answering of queries, body worn video cameras, mobile data terminals, and the use of social media accounts.  

Now, Dr Liz Aston, Associate Professor of Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University and Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR), is to be the Principal Investigator leading an £862,000 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded programme to explore experiences and understanding of such technologicallymediated ‘ contact.  

Over the next three years, INTERACT – Investigating New Types of Engagement, Response And Contact Technology – will consider the perspectives of both police and publicThe study will consider ways in which the police can and should design their systems to better reflect people’s needs and expectations.  

 We aim to shape policy and practice, with a view to improving service provision,” says Dr Aston. She will be working with Dr Helen Wells from Keele University, Dr Megan O’Neill of Dundee University, and Prof Ben Bradford at University College London (UCL); as well as new Researchers, funded by the ESRC, who will be based at Edinburgh Napier, Keele and UCL We will be working closely with three police forces, and with various communities in each, as well as with national policing organisations.” 

 INTERACT represents a significant opportunity to impact the landscape of policing policy and practice nationally and internationally 

Our findings should directly and positively influence what the police do, and what the public are able to do to access police services,” adds Dr Aston. 

In the UK, the National Police Chiefs’ Council believes the public expects policing to join other services ‘online’, but while attention is being paid to what technology can do, for the police in particular, the public side of this encounter has barely been considered.  

 “Online reporting may appeal to some people, or be particularly useful for some crime types,” the team explains, but we do not know enough about how people experience these types of interactions to be confident that they will be of benefit to everyone, in all circumstances.  

 We also do not know if and how these developments might affect the way people feel about the police and what they do. We know that when people interact with officers they come to conclusions about the trustworthiness and legitimacy of police. But this knowledge is based on research which assumes that most or all contact between the public and police happens face-to-face, as it has done for decades. Given that this situation is changing, it is important that we reconsider our theories of public trust and police legitimacy, and if they are both fit for purpose in the current environment and are future-proof against new developments. 

 Research will also consider what it means for the police to be ‘visible’ and ‘accessible’ in a digital age and assess how the public feel about the different ways the police can be seen and contacted.  

 Using a variety of methods our research will develop understandings of police legitimacy in changing times and allow us to recommend ways for the police to stay legitimate in the eyes of the public in the 21st century. 

 For further information please contact: 

l.aston@napier.ac.uk 

Dr Liz Aston
Dr Liz Aston, Associate Professor, Criminology

Community Guidance on Running a Seagrass Conservation Project

Professor of Teaching and Research in Environmental Biology at Edinburgh Napier University, Mark Huxham, recently published a signposting guide with insights on how best to run a community-based seagrass conservation project, using methods such as a Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES) project.

In his report, Prof Huxham focuses on a carbon-based PES as a means to protect seagrass ecosystems and prevent their degradation.

Seagrass meadows appear in 159 different countries and can be found on every continent except from Antarctica. In fact, all-in-all, seagrass covers 30 million hectares worldwide, that’s 10-and-a-half times the size of Hawaii.

These aquatic ecosystems provide an irreplaceable service to our planet. Seagrasses afford valuable nursery habitat to one fifth of the world’s largest fisheries, which helps boost fish population numbers and, in turn, this supports local communities that rely on fish for income and food.

Seagrass also stores up to 18% of the world’s oceanic carbon, helping to mitigate climate change.

These ecosystems therefore play a key role in reducing the impact on climate change, improve water quality, and provide coastal protection against floods and storms.

Now though, like the coral reefs and rainforests, these habitats are being compromised by human activity.

The rapid decline in our global coastal ecosystems is a worldwide problem and the rate of loss of seagrass meadows is alarmingly fast. The most recent census estimates that we are losing 7% of this key marine habitat per year, which is equivalent to a football field of seagrass lost every 30 minutes. Nearly a third of seagrass cover has been lost in the last 100 years-or-so.

The four main culprits behind the destruction of these water-based habitats are overharvesting (humans harvest seagrass for fertiliser, insulation, furniture and more); agricultural and industrial run-off; coastal development; and climate change.

It is a global problem that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is keen to tackle. In a separate report that Mark Huxham contributes to, detailing the importance of seagrass and how to protect it, UNEP lays out 13 recommended actions on how to protect this natural resource. The recommendations include:

  • developing a comprehensive map of global seagrass distribution and health;
  • raising awareness of seagrass and communicating its importance to communities;
  • and stimulating seagrass conservation and protection through financial initiatives and incentives.

This is the download for the global UNEP report.

This is the download for Mark Huxam’s report on how to help conserve seagrass locally.

Cover of Guide
The Community Guide

He’s picking up good vibrations

A mountain bike handlebar, released for sale this September, is the first to offer a viscoelastic frame designed to absorb more of the impacts that are an inevitable result when enthusiasts and professional riders alike hurtle down trails.

The innovation has been driven by research conducted by Lewis Kirkwood as part of his PhD at Edinburgh Napier University: commercial endorsement for its long term health implications. “Vibration stimulates muscle and it makes the muscle tense, which is why you get arm pump because your muscle doesn’t relax and it cuts off the blood flow,” explains Lewis.

Initial data gathered by Lewis (alongside Dr Lesley Ingram, Dr Eva Malone, Dr Mark Taylor, and Prof Geraint Florida-James) suggested that mountain bikers can actually experience vibration levels that would exceed levels regarded as safe under ISO standards. These are applied in 164 countries, with the goal of ensuring products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For example, ISO 5349 – 1:2001 monitors human exposure to hand-transmitted vibration in construction, and caps vibrations at 5.0 ms^-2. But Lewis found mean values of 5.84ms^-2 on the riders he studied over a day of elite enduro racing.

It was important to investigate further, with exposure to vibration in the workplace linked to musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, vascular and other types of pathologies such as hand-arm vibration syndrome.

“We believe there will be ways of optimising the design of components such as handlebars, grips or even gloves, tyres and spokes, and if we could look at ways to minimize vibration while still keeping or improving the performance then that has to be a good thing,” said Lewis, who is a keen mountain biker himself and also a team mechanic with Norco Factory Team.

Since 2016 he has evolved his PhD research at the Innovation Centre run by Edinburgh Napier University and the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, at Glentress in the Scottish Borders. Now, kreuz+quer – the company behind bike brand ARC8 and bicycle.engineering – have launched the Rockstock carbon handlebar using input from the research by Lewis. It is the first commercially available handlebar to integrate a viscoelastic damping layer, which means it is designed with the intention of reducing vibration exposure for riders.

For Lewis, the commercial response to his research has been inspirational. “At Napier, we have a big physiology department where, for example, we can take blood from people, so we can link up vibration doses and changes in the blood to see if there is a relationship with things like osteo-arthritis. We can also test many different products at the Innovation Centre. So if a component manufacturer with different layups of seatposts or frame materials wanted to know which was better in the field then we can reliably measure it.

“That’s what I want to do more of.”

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funds research

Associate Professor Dr Sonja Rueckert (School of Applied Sciences) recently received funding (US$ 381,688) from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to lead one of the 42 teams of scientists that are to be supported over the next three years as part of the Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative (US$ 140 million).

The initiative aims to develop and advance model systems to gain better understanding of how these symbiotic associations evolved and function.

Dr Rueckert says: “The international team I am leading will work on culturing techniques for gregarine apicomplexans infecting marine and freshwater invertebrates (Fig. 1). The team includes  researchers from the UK, USA, Czech Republic and France.

“This is very exciting, as we can now develop our culturing approach, which will enable scientists to advance fundamental research on the evolutionary steps of symbiosis in the Apicomplexa (important parasites for humans and livestock, e.g. causing Malaria).

“Having a culture system will make it easier to identify key cellular and molecular transitions in the evolution from free-living relatives to intracellular parasites.

“My research organisms of interest, the gregarines, cover the whole range of symbiotic relationships with their hosts from mutualistic to parasitic, and therefore play a crucial role in the understanding of the evolution of this symbiotic association.

“The unique, collaborative set up of this program will foster the exchange of techniques and ideas of about 200 scientists from different disciplines with the common goal to advance the field of aquatic symbiosis.’

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org and follow @MooreFound.

Carnegie Trust Scholarship Award for PhD student

School of Applied Sciences student Abigail Cunningham (pictured) is the University’s first recipient of a Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarship Award.

Drawing on a Foucauldian theoretical framework and using narrative discourse analysis, her project will explore Scottish-Pakistanis’ experiences of ‘policing’ in everyday life, including institutional, community, and self-policing.

UK policy responses to terrorist threats have contributed to relationships of mistrust between British-Asian communities and police and to increasing incidents of hate crime against them. There is a lack of in-depth, qualitative research exploring the reasons for underreporting of hate crime, and few studies include the perspectives of Scottish ethnic minority citizens.

Abigail’s PhD aims to examine the idea of Scotland as an inclusive community from the perspective of Scottish-Pakistanis, and problematize the way ethnic minority groups participate in, respond to, and internalise policing on multiple levels. The study will conduct 30 in-depth face-to-face interviews with Scottish-Pakistanis from urban and semi-rural areas in Scotland.

In providing an understanding of the experiences of Scottish Pakistanis, findings will be of significant benefit to policy makers and practitioners, and will assist policing organisations in Scotland to improve their engagement with minorities.

Abigail’s supervisory team consists of Liz Aston as Director of Studies, with Grant Jeffrey and Taulant Guma as co-supervisors, highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of the PhD and expertise of the supervisory team across criminology and policing, human geography and migration, and critical community psychology.

Liz said, “The University has a supportive and well-resourced research environment for postgraduates, networked to external training opportunities. With Edinburgh Napier being a member of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science and host university of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, Abigail will have access to a range of training courses, summer schools, postgraduate conferences and a supportive community of PhD students and academics.

“Abigail’s intellectual capacity and passion for exploring migration were evident in her academic record, reference and personal statement. She is one of our Social Sciences graduates, with great work and life experience and contacts. She has also been doing some teaching with us over the past year.

“Her Carnegie PhD Scholarship Award is a wonderful achievement and testament to her excellence. Grant, Taulant and I have enjoyed working with Abigail to develop her proposal and we are excited to get started!”

Public Perceptions and Responses to Human Trafficking

International Migrant Day – 18 December – was an appropriate day to review the latest research published in Anti-Trafficking Review, at a special event at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), a network of over 80 NGOs worldwide, this issue of the quarterly academic journal has been guest edited by Kiril Sharapov, an Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Applied Sciences, and Suzanne Hoff, International Coordinator of La Strada International. Its focus is on public perceptions and responses to human trafficking.

The theme has emerged from research that identifies that many interventions, globally, are driven by assumptions or ignorance of the issue at a local level. Peter Olayiwola, a PhD student at Nottingham University highlighted that in Nigeria, which is the focus of his ongoing research, most NGO’s perceive the issue of trafficking to be driven by organised networks – a perception driven by the western donors most NGOs rely on to fund their programmes.

There is an obvious danger then that most interventions become necessarily time bound and focused around this single driver. But the reality for those working in exploited roles, many of whom Peter has interviewed directly, is that they are not trafficked into Nigeria by organised gangs, but taken advantage of in their own country, by those who would exploit the extreme poverty of their basic living conditions and the vulnerability it creates.

Caroline Robinson speaking at the launch of the Anti-Trafficking Review focused on Public Perceptions and Responses to Human Trafficking, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh 18 December 2019

Improving public awareness of the issues around trafficking is then, surely, a benefit?

As Kiril Sharapov and Suzanne Hoff write in their editorial however, the answer is not so clear cut. “Most awareness-raising messages continue to deliver simplistic narratives of ‘victims, villains, and heroes,’ while leaving the structural root causes of human trafficking and the systems of domination that underpin them intact.”

The range of research in this edition does point a way forward, and a focus on the broad range of root causes could do much to inform a better debate around how limited funds can be targeted. It is not uncommon for costly public awareness campaigns to be approved just as equivalent direct cuts to front line services are enforced. Strengthened labour inspection systems could also do much to impact the conditions under which currently exploited workers subsist, and anti-trafficking campaigns also need to call for labour protection in unregulated sectors, such as domestic work.

Ultimately, “those of us who hold the power of production and distribution of knowledge must let the people in vulnerable and exploitative situations… demand the change they need.”

Anti-Trafficking Review Issue 13, September 2019 ISSN 2286-7511

Exercise Prescription should be offered as part of cancer treatment

A global panel of exercise oncology experts published new guidance recommending the systematic use of an “exercise prescription” to help cancer patients cope with treatment side effects and lower the risk of developing certain cancers.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) convened the group, including Professor Anna Campbell from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Applied Sciences, from 17 international partner organisations. The group reviewed the latest scientific evidence and offered recommendations about the benefits of exercise for prevention, treatment, recovery and improved survival.

ACSM Immediate Past President Katie Schmitz, who co-chaired the panel, said: “With more than 43 million cancer survivors worldwide, we have a growing need to address the unique health issues facing people living with and beyond cancer and better understand how exercise may help prevent and control cancer. This multidisciplinary group of leaders at the forefront of exercise oncology aimed to translate the latest scientific evidence into practical recommendations for clinicians and the public and to create global impact through a unified voice.”

Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Campbell has been working in the area of exercise and cancer survivorship for 20 years – particularly in the area of implementation of exercise programmes after a cancer diagnosis.

She said: “These updated recommendations are designed to convince clinicians to refer and to help cancer patients to incorporate physical activity into their recuperation.  These papers demonstrate how much the area of exercise oncology has developed over the past five years in terms of the strength of evidence of the benefits of staying active after a cancer diagnosis, more clarity on specific guidelines and finally how to put a referral pathway and implementation of programmes into practice.”

Turning their theory into practice, Gary MacDougall, a 48-year-old man from Edinburgh who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer joined Professor Campbell and her team’s exercise-focused programme in April 2018. He claims that during his first six chemotherapy sessions he “became stronger and fitter.” Remarkably his tumour had shrunk to the point where he was eligible for surgery. He said “Whether it was chemotherapy, fitness, diet or just ‘hope’ – I believe they all played a part – the doctors were exceptionally surprised my tumour shrunk enough in those first six chemotherapy sessions and gave me the chance to have surgery. That operation was a year ago and after six further chemotherapy sessions I am still here, and my cancer markers are looking good.”

The new guidance and recommendations, for use by health care and fitness professionals when creating exercise programmes for cancer patients and survivors, include:

  • For all adults, exercise is important for cancer prevention and specifically lowers risk of seven common types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus and stomach.
  • For cancer survivors, incorporate exercise to help improve survival after a diagnosis of breast, colon and prostate cancer.
  • Exercising during and after cancer treatment improves fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical function, quality of life and does not exacerbate lymphedema.
  • Continue research that will drive the integration of exercise into the standard of care for cancer.
  • Translate into practice the increasingly robust evidence base about the positive effects of exercise for cancer patients.

Organisations represented on the international panel include the American Cancer Society, the US-based National Cancer Institute, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, Macmillan Cancer Support and the German Union for Health Exercise.

Full details of the review and recommendations are outlined in three academic papers published in two scientific journals.  Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Campbell co-authored “Exercise Is Medicine in Oncology: Engaging Clinicians to Help Patients Move Through Cancer,” which was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a flagship journal of the American Cancer Society.