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Personal profile

Teaching Activity

I teach on both the BSc Psychology (single & joint hons) and MSc Health Psychology (on campus & online) programmes. I am also joint Head of Final Year for the BSc Psychology programme. I supervise research projects for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Undergraduate modules

  • PY3022 Psychology of Physical Activity & Exercise (module convenor)
  • PY2240 Lifespan Development
  • PY3351 Child Development

Postgraduate modules

  • PYM703 Health Behaviours (module convenor)
  • PYM733 Health Behaviours (module convenor)
  • PYM704 Health Inequalities through the lifespan
  • PYM707 Research Project
  • PYM737 Research Project

Research Interests

My research is inspired by a desire to understand the complex determinants of human behaviour relating to health, and to develop interventions to empower and enable individuals to live healthier lives. Health behaviour during pregnancy and early childhood has such an influence on lifelong health and wellbeing that I am driven to find ways to support parents and health professionals in their desire to give children a healthy start and develop positive health behaviours for life. Therefore my main research topics are:

  • Maternal obesity and weight management in pregnancy
  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in pregnancy
  • Parental engagement in family weight management/healthy lifestyle services
  • Development and evaluation of theory- and evidence-based behaviour change interventions
  • Assessment and development of behaviour change competencies in health professionals

PhD Supervision

I currently supervise six PhD students, three at Aston University and three at Coventry University. The PhDs under my supervision all relate to behaviour change, mostly relating to physical activity, and cover the lifespan, from children to adults and older adults. 


Aug 2017 - Present - Lecturer in Psychology, Aston University

Nov 2010 - July 2017 - Senior Researcher/Research Fellow, Coventry University

Feb 2008 - Nov 2010 - Research Assistant, Coventry University


Contact Details

Phone:  0121 204 4541
Email:   l.atkinson1@aston.ac.uk
Room number: SW410f

Education/Academic qualification


MSc, University of Bedfordshire


External positions

Associate Editor

May 2018 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Lou Atkinson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 19 Similar Profiles
Weights and Measures Medicine & Life Sciences
Pregnancy Medicine & Life Sciences
Pregnant Women Medicine & Life Sciences
Midwifery Medicine & Life Sciences
Exercise Medicine & Life Sciences
Weight Gain Medicine & Life Sciences
Meta-Analysis Medicine & Life Sciences
Parents Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2011 2019

Bump start needed: linking guidelines, policy and practice in promoting physical activity during and beyond pregnancy

Mills, H., Atkinson, L., Olander, E., Smith, D., Hayes, L., Currie, S., Newham, J., Foster, C. & De Vivo, M., 29 Nov 2019, In : British journal of sports medicine. 101413.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access

Fear of inducing guilt or shame affects midwives’ communication about body weight with pregnant women

Atkinson, L., 31 Jul 2018, In : Evidence Based Nursing.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access

Healthcare professionals' and parents' experiences of the confirmatory testing period: A qualitative study of the UK expanded newborn screening pilot

Moody, L., Atkinson, L., Kehal, I. & Bonham, J. R., 8 May 2017, In : BMC Pediatrics. 17, 1, 121.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Newborn Infant
Delivery of Health Care

Objectively assessed physical activity and sedentary behaviour during pregnancy in portuguese women: Differences between trimesters and weekdays and weekends

Duncan, M. J., Atkinson, L., Abreu, S., Montenegro, N., Mota, J. & Santos, P. C., 1 Apr 2017, In : Current Women's Health Reviews. 13, 1, p. 34-37 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Second Pregnancy Trimester
First Pregnancy Trimester

Acceptability of a Weight Management Intervention for Pregnant and Postpartum Women with BMI ≥30 kg/m2: A Qualitative Evaluation of an Individualized, Home-Based Service

Atkinson, L., Olander, E. K. & French, D. P., 1 Jan 2016, In : Maternal and Child Health Journal. 20, 1, p. 88-96 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Postpartum Period
Pregnant Women
Weights and Measures
Pediatric Obesity