Professor Adrian H Taylor

Professor of Health Services Research

Professor of Exercise and Health Psychology

Adrian Taylor is Professor of Health Service Research and is Associate Dean for Research, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. He is currently chief investigator for 3 NIHR funded trials involving health behavior change interventions, including two concerned with tobacco harm reduction, and was co-applicant for two previous trials on exercise and smoking cessation. He has published widely on laboratory research, involving fMRI brain scanning, eye tracker/dot probe tasks to assess attentional bias, and assessment of cravings, withdrawal symptoms and affect following acute exercise among smokers, heavy alcohol consumers and high energy snackers. This experimental work and his health behavior change background has informed the design of client-centred interventions to support changes in physical activity, smoking and alcohol use, and improve mental health and well-being. He co-authors a Cochrane review on exercise and smoking cessation. Adrian is also co-founding editor of the international journal, Mental Health and Physical Activity.

For more information see:

The role of sport, physical activity & exercise in preventing & treating nicotine addiction, alcohol & substance use

There is global interest in the role of sport, exercise, and physical activity (PA) in preventing uptake, as a treatment, and for relapse prevention of addiction including nicotine, alcohol and other substances. Animal research suggests that exercise reduces consumption of various substances when addicted and identifies a number of possible mechanisms through neurobiological processes. The last 10-15 years has seen exponential growth in human research, from laboratory studies on effects of PA on cravings, functional brain responses, and attentional bias to relevant cues, through to large trials with various populations and outcomes. Much of the research to date has focused on nicotine addiction, but there is a rapidly growing interest in interventions to support other addictions.

At the practical level there have been many examples of different forms of physical activity being used to augment existing therapies or as stand-alone interventions. This session aims to bring together current evidence from reviews and other sources, and then consider how best to implement interventions to support such outcomes, with key stakeholder involvement. The first speaker (Taylor) provides a critical overview of the literature on both the acute and chronic effects of exercise on smoking harm reduction and cessation, evidence for some of the mechanisms involved, and approaches to intervention development. The second speaker (Thompson) provides the findings from an NIHR (RfPB) funded systematic review of published and unpublished literature on the effects of PA and sport on alcohol and substance misuse, and also considers the dose and mode of delivery of PA interventions tested.

November 2017