Biography

Prof. Woods is Chair of Physical Activity for Health in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick (UL). She is a member of UL's Health Research Institute (https://www.ul.ie/research/hri), and Director of Collaboration & Internationalisation within the recently established Physical Activity for Health Research Cluster in UL (https://www.ul.ie/hri/hri-research/research-clusters). Prof. Woods' research cuts across the HRI themes of lifestyle, health and technology. She enjoys developing and testing theoretically sound interventions to change population levels of physical activity, and seeks better, more systematic methods of bringing research, practice and policy closer together to achieve real and sustainable impact. Prof. Woods believes that physical activity is a best buy for public health as it has the potential to improve health and wellbeing for everyone, irrespective of age, ability or condition.

Professor Woods has led - as Principal or Co-Investigator – successful grant applications generating a total income of €14,100,242 (€4,070,512 to UL/DCU). Professor Woods has successfully trained 10 PhD and 6 MSc research students, and currently has one research fellow and five post-doctoral researchers, four full-time research assistants and five PhD students within her physical activity for health research team. This team have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presented at >30 (inter)national conferences.

Research Interests

Prof Woods' area of expertise is Physical Activity for Health. Her research is framed within the social ecological model and consequently she works across individual, interpersonal, community and policy levels. This multi-level approach is necessary to understand and influence population levels of physical activity for health; however, it requires an extensive knowledge and an appreciation for inter-disciplinary work. Current research priorities are listed below with an example of ongoing projects in each priority area.

  • The promotion of physical activity and healthy lifestyles in clinical and older adult populations.
  • Understanding the determinants of physical activity in children and young people, and developing evidence-based interventions to promote physical activity in this cohort.
  • Physical activity policy evaluation and development.
Clinical and Older Adult Populations
Prof Woods
chaired a working group tasked by the Health Services Executive to develop a National Exercise Referral Framework (NERF). The NERF provides individuals living with non-communicable diseases three levels of support; level 1 - high-support centre-based activity, level 2 is medium-support community-based activity and level 3 is independent, self-managed home-based exercise. (see: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/heal/heal-docs/national-exe...).

Prof. Woods developed a community-based chronic illness rehabilitation programme in UL as a partnership between Limerick, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals. MedEx UL caters provides high level support (NERF Level 1) for individuals living with cardiovascular disease. The focus is on learning self-management strategies, underpinned by structured exercise, as a form of secondary prevention. Prof. Woods' research aligned to MedEx has involved studying the key factors responsible for sustaining long term adherence to MedEx, this information has been used to design an intervention to enhance recruitment and retention to the programme. Examining NERF level 3 (home-based arm), research through PATHway (Physical Activity Towards Health) a Horizon 2020 €4.9 million research project. PAHway combined the work of nine partners (from 7 different countries) to provide individualised mHealth (mobile health) rehabilitation pathways for individuals living with established cardiovascular disease (CVD). The primary aim was to increase daily minutes of physical activity, underpinned by behavioural change theory and using innovative technology for intervention delivery.

The ‘Move for Life project' (www.moveforlife.ie), is funded by the Health Services Executive, Healthy Ireland and Atlantic Philanthropies and is a collaboration with Local Sports Partnerships, Healthy Limerick, Age friendly Limerick and Clare and the HSE. Its purpose is to develop an intervention to increase physical activity in inactive adults aged 50+. 700+ adults across counties Clare and Limerick engaged in the study, with 601 meeting study inclusion criteria (>50 years and inactive).

Children & Young People
The Healthy Ireland Demonstration Project aims to develop and test the feasibility of a complex school-based intervention targeting the main modifiable risk factors for prevention of noncommunicable diseases, in particular physical inactivity and poor diet. The multiple components of this intervention will be developed from existing evidence-based programmes, behavior change theory and (inter)national collaborations. Although in its early stages, this project which is a collaboration between UL, UCD, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health, has already secured funding for intervention development and feasibility testing of the Active School Flag post primary programme (www.activeschoolflag.ie).

The Childrens' Sport Participation and Physical Activity (CSPPA) study, provides a 9-year follow-up to the original CSPPA study. Its purpose to provide important surveillance data on the physical activity behaviours and their determinants in school-aged children. Questionnaire, physical health and qualitative data were collected on a representative sample of 6,651, 10-18 year olds from 115 schools across Ireland. Prof. Woods co-ordinated this complex multi-site study in collaboration with Dublin City University (DCU), University of Ulster and University College Cork. This research was funded by Sport Ireland, Healthy Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland.

Keeping Youngsters Involved. (https://www.kenniscentrumsport.nl/en/international-projects/keep-youngsters-involved/).
The project 'Keep Youngsters Involved' aims to find answers to the question: ‘How can we prevent youngsters (age 12-19) from dropout from sport?'. In many European countries we see that a lot of youngsters give up sport due to a lack of motivation, problems with school or job schedule or different interests. The project targets youngsters (12-19 years) in general and specifically those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The six international project partners want to increase and share knowledge by creating a common understanding of effective and practice-based elements, partner countries are able to share their good practices and interventions. The project is funded by the European Commission. It is a collaborative partnership project in the Erasmus+ Sport programme (2016). The project will take place from 1 January 2017 until 30 September 2019.

Physical Activity Policy
Prof. Woods is vice co-ordinator of a Joint Programme Initiative, Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life; the Policy Evaluation Network (https://www.jpi-pen.eu/). This network of 28 research groups across Europe is examining the impact of public policy on improving healthy eating, physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour. This research is funded by the Health Research Board.

The I-PARC project (Irish Physical Activity Research Collaboration) jointly led by Prof. Woods and Dr. Fiona Mansergh (Healthy Ireland), will bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from PA in order to develop a systematic method for identifying examples of effective PA interventions and effective implementation strategies (
https://i-parc.ie/). This adheres to the National Implementation Research Network's formula for success 'Effective Interventions X Effective Implementation Methods X Enabling Context = Socially Significant Outcomes'. Ireland's National Physical Activity Plan provides the enabling context for PA interventions, however we know little about how to identify effective interventions and even less about effective implementation strategies applicable to the Irish context. This research is funded by the Health Research Board.

Professional Activities

Award

  • 2019 - Visiting Professor
  • 2018 - Honorary Professor

Association

  • 2018 Member, European College of Sport Science
  • 2016 Member, International Society of Physical Activity and Health
  • 2014 Member; SIG Executive e and mhealth; SIG Exe Environement and Policy, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • 2008 Member, WHO Health Enhancing Physical Activity Network

Committee

  • 2018 Healthy UL,
  • 2017 Structured PhD Programme,
  • 2017 National Physical Activity Plan: Research Subgroup,
  • 2016 National Physical Activity Plan Implementation Group,

Employment

  • 2016 University of Limerick - Chair, Physical Activity for Health
  • 2000 Dublin City University - Senior Lecturer
  • 1998 University of Glasgow - Senior Research Assistant
  • 1995 University of Glasgow - Research Assistant
  • 1991 Presentation Secondary School - Head of Physical Education Department & English Teacher

Education

  • 2000 University of Glasgow - PhD
  • 2000 British Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation - BACR-IV
  • 1994 Physical Education Association of Ireland - National Certificate in Exercise and Fitness: Tutor
  • 1991 University of Limerick - B.Sc.

Research Collaborators

  • Ms Dorien Dijck - Funding Award - Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands -Netherlands
  • Professor Marie Murphy - Funding Award - University of Ulster -Country
  • Professor Nanette Mutrie - Funding Award - University of Edinburgh -Scotland
  • Professor Adrian Bauman - Funding Award - University of Sydney -Country
  • Dr. Sarahjane Belton - Funding Award - Dublin City University -Country -Research programmes we collaborate on, include: The CSPPA Study The Y-PATH Study Be Active After School The Active School Flag
  • Dr. Kieran Moran - Funding Award - Dublin City University -Collaborative projects include: PATHway mPATHway
  • Jan Seghers - International Collaboration Type - KU Leuven -Belgium -Erasmus+ Project: Keep Youngsters Involved
  • Prof. Wolfgang Ahrens - Funding Award -Germany -Policy Evaluation Network
  • Dr. Jeroen Lakerveld - Funding Award -Netherlands -Policy Evaluation Network

Books

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Book Chapters

Putting physical activity on the policy agenda

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
New York
Routledge
Read more

Intervention studies, training studies and determining the acute responses to bouts of exercise

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
New York
Routledge
Read more

Producing the Research Proposal

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
New York
Routledge
Read more

Edited Books

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Peer Reviewed Journals

An evaluation of an intervention designed to help inactive adults become more active with a peer mentoring component: a protocol for a cluster randomised feasibility trial of the Move for Life programme.

Prof. Liam Glynn
Dr. Andrew O'Regan
Prof. Stephen Gallagher
Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Test-retest reliability of survey items on ownership and use of physical activity trackers

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Selection of key indicators for European policy monitoring and surveillance for dietary behaviour, physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

Feasibility, Acceptability, and Clinical Effectiveness of a Technology-Enabled Cardiac Rehabilitation Platform (Physical Activity Toward Health-I): Randomized Controlled Trial

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

A pragmatic evaluation of the primary school Be Active After-School Activity Programme (Be Active ASAP).

Dr. Catherine Woods
2022
Read more

Identification of health-related behavioural clusters and their association with demographic characteristics in Irish university students

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Policies to promote physical activity in Germany An analysis based on a policy audit tool from the World Health Organization

Dr. Catherine Woods
2022
NEW YORK
SPRINGER
Read more

Results From Ireland's 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Youth

Prof. Alan Donnelly
Dr. Elaine Murtagh
Dr. Catherine Woods
2014
Read more

Socio-ecological correlates of physical activity in a nationally representative sample of adolescents across Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

The development of the Comprehensive Analysis of Policy on Physical Activity (CAPPA) framework

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Student Activity and Sport Study Ireland: Protocol for a Web-Based Survey and Environmental Audit Tool for Assessing the Impact of Multiple Factors on University Students' Physical Activity

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Physical Activity, Sport and Physical Education in Northern Ireland School Children: A Cross-Sectional Study

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
BASEL
MDPI
Read more

The development and codesign of the PATHway intervention: a theory-driven eHealth platform for the self-management of cardiovascular disease

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Barriers to and motives for engagement in an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programme in Ireland: a qualitative study

Dr. Catherine Woods
2022
LONDON
BMC
Read more

Results From Ireland North and South's 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Prof. Alan Donnelly
Dr. Elaine Murtagh
Dr. Catherine Woods
2016
Read more

Validity and Reliability of Three Self-Report Instruments for Assessing Attainment of Physical Activity Guidelines in University Students

Dr. Ciaran MacDonncha
Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

The Association of Family, Friends, and Teacher Support With Girls' Sport and Physical Activity on the Island of Ireland.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

MedFit app, a behavior-changing, theoretically informed mobile app for patient self-management of cardiovascular disease: User-centered development

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
Read more

Impact of physical activity domain on subsequent activity in youth: A 5-year longitudinal study.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2016
Read more

‘PE should be an integral part of each school day’: parents’ and their children’s attitudes towards primary physical education

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

The (mis)alignment between young people’s collective physical activity experience and physical education curriculum development in Ireland

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

What young people say about physical activity: The Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity (CSPPA) Study

Prof. Ann MacPhail
Dr. Catherine Woods
2013
Read more

An examination of the relationship between enjoyment, physical education, physical activity and health in Irish adolescents

Emeritus Sl. Deborah Tannehill
Dr. Catherine Woods
2012
Read more

What psychosocial factors determine the physical activity patterns of university students?

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Measuring Engagement in eHealth and mHealth Behavior Change Interventions: Viewpoint of Methodologies

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
TORONTO
JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC
Read more

Juggling with theory, evidence, practice, and real-world circumstances: Development of a complex community intervention to increase physical activity in inactive adults aged 50 years and older - The Move for Life Study

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
OXFORD
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Read more

The impact of participation in extra-curricular physical activity on males from disadvantaged schools.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2016
Read more

The added value of using the HEPA PAT for physical activity policy monitoring: a four-country comparison.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

Clusters of Adolescent Physical Activity Tracker Patterns and Their Associations With Physical Activity Behaviors in Finland and Ireland: Cross-Sectional Study

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

Prevalence and Correlates of Physical Inactivity in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Ireland

Dr. Elaine Murtagh
Dr. Catherine Woods
2015
Read more

Active Students Are Healthier and Happier Than Their Inactive Peers: The Results of a Large Representative Cross-Sectional Study of University Students in Ireland

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
CHAMPAIGN
Read more

Electronic Health Physical Activity Behavior Change Intervention to Self-Manage Cardiovascular Disease: Qualitative Exploration of Patient and Health Professional Requirements

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
TORONTO
JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC
Read more

A qualitative exploration of cardiovascular disease patients' views and experiences with an eHealth cardiac rehabilitation intervention: The PATHway Project

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

The Development of the MedEx IMPACT Intervention: A Patient-Centered, Evidenced-Based and Theoretically-Informed Physical Activity Behavior Change Intervention for Individuals Living With and Beyond Cancer

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

A Systematic Literature Review of Peer-led Strategies for Promoting Physical Activity Levels of Adolescents

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
THOUSAND OAKS
Read more

Teacher experiences implementing the ‘Active School Flag’ initiative to support physically active school communities in Ireland

Dr. Elaine Murtagh
Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

Sports Participation in Youth as a Predictor of Physical Activity: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study

Dr. Catherine Woods
2016
Read more

Cardiac patients show high interest in technology enabled cardiovascular rehabilitation.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2016
Read more

The effect of a pre- And post-operative exercise programme versus standard care on physical fitness of patients with oesophageal and gastric cancer undergoing neoadjuvant treatment prior to surgery (T....

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

A cluster analysis of device-measured physical activity behaviours and the association with chronic conditions, multi-morbidity and healthcare utilisation in adults aged 45 years and older.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

A feasibility study of an exercise intervention to educate and promote health and well-being among medical students: the 'MED-WELL' programme

Dr. Dervla Kelly
Prof. Liam Glynn
Dr. Andrew O'Regan
Dr. Peter Hayes
Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

Barriers and facilitators to changes in adolescent physical activity during COVID-19

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

Physical Activity Across the Cancer Journey: Experiences and Recommendations From People Living With and Beyond Cancer

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

PATHway I: design and rationale for the investigation of the feasibility, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a technology-enabled cardiac rehabilitation platform

Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

Advancing the evidence base for public policies impacting on dietary behaviour, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in Europe: The Policy Evaluation Network promoting a multidisciplinary approach

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

What young people say about physical activity: the Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity (CSPPA) study

Dr. Catherine Woods
2015
Read more

The effect of participating in MedEx Wellness, a community-based chronic disease exercise rehabilitation programme, on physical, clinical and psychological health: A study protocol for a cohort trial

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

How to improve recruitment, sustainability and scalability in physical activity programmes for adults aged 50 years and older: A qualitative study of key stakeholder perspectives.

Prof. Liam Glynn
Dr. Andrew O'Regan
Prof. Stephen Gallagher
Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more

Feasibility study of the secondary level active school flag programme: Study protocol

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Computerized decision support for beneficial home-based exercise rehabilitation in patients with cardiovascular disease

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
CLARE
ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD
Read more

"Getting Ireland Active"-Application of a Systems Approach to Increase Physical Activity in Ireland Using the GAPPA Framework

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
CHAMPAIGN
HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC
Read more

Healthcare professionals' knowledge and practice of physical activity promotion in cancer care: Challenges and solutions

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
Read more

The evidence for the impact of policy on physical activity outcomes within the school setting: A systematic review.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

Policy Evaluation Network (PEN): Protocol for systematic literature review examining the evidence for impact of policies on across seven different policy domains

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
Read more

Other Journals

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Conference Publications

Congress of the International society of physical activity for health

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
Read more

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
CARY
OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC
Read more

A Use Case based requirements specification approach to support the development of a rehabilitation system for CVD patients: The PATHWAY Project

Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
Read more

MMHealth 2017 - Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Multimedia for Personal Health and Health Care, co-located with MM 2017

Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

Proceedings - IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications

Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

Congress of the International society of physical activity for health

Prof. Liam Glynn
Prof. Stephen Gallagher
Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
Read more

Congress of the International society of physical activity for health

Dr. Kwok Ng
Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
Read more

Conference Contributions

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Published Reports

The Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study: Volunteer Study

Emeritus Sl. Deborah Tannehill
Dr. Catherine Woods
2011
Dublin, Ireland
Irish Sports Council
Read more

An Evaluation of Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study

Emeritus Sl. Deborah Tannehill
Dr. Catherine Woods
2010
Dublin, Ireland
Irish Sports Council
Read more

Editorials

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Book Reviews

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Other Publications

The Role of Exercise on Physical Fitness of Patients with Oesophagogastric Cancer Undergoing Neoadjuvant Treatment snd Surgery: Report of a Feasibility Study and the Protocol of a Multi-Centre Randomised Control Trial (The PERIOP-OG Study)

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
LONDON
SPRINGER LONDON LTD
Read more

Relation Between Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior And Chronic Disease Risk Factors Using Principal Component Analysis.

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
PHILADELPHIA
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS
Read more

The evidence for the impact of policy on physical activity outcomes within the school setting: A systematic review

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
SHANGHAI
SHANGHAI UNIV SPORT
Read more

It's the parents, It's the school, It's the children: Responsibility for adolescent unhealthy living

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
LONDON
SPRINGER LONDON LTD
Read more

The Long-term Effects Of A Physical Activity Behaviour Change Intervention On Cancer Survivors' Levels Of Depression, Fatigue And Mental Well-being

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
PHILADELPHIA
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS
Read more

Systematic review examining the evidence for impact of school policies on physical activity

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
OXFORD
OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Read more

The development and co-design of the PATHway intervention: A theory-driven eHealth platform for the self-management of cardiovascular disease

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
CHAMPAIGN
HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC
Read more

Cancer Survivors' Experiences Of Physical Activity: Exercise As A Vehicle For Recovery?

Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

Sub-national structures matter when evaluating physical activity promotion: Lessons from Germany

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
OXFORD
OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Read more

Sedentary behaviour profiles of Irish children and youth: A follow up to the Children's Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study (CSPPA)

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
CHAMPAIGN
HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC
Read more

Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Diet-Related eHealth and mHealth Research: Bibliometric Analysis

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
TORONTO
JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC
Read more

How does the university environment influence students' physical activity patterns?

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
CHAMPAIGN
HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC
Read more

Behavior Change Techniques in Physical Activity eHealth Interventions for People With Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Review

Dr. Catherine Woods
2017
Read more

Factors and strategies to prevent dropout in youth sport: results of a rapid review and expert opinions

Dr. Catherine Woods
2018
CHAMPAIGN
HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC
Read more

Interventions promoting active transport to school in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
Read more

Barriers and facilitators to implementing community-based physical activity interventions: a qualitative systematic review

Dr. Catherine Woods
2021
LONDON
BMC
Read more

The role of exercise on physical fitness of patients with oesophagogastric cancer undergoing neoadjuvant treatment and surgery: Report of a feasibility study and the protocol of a multi-centre Randomised Control Trial (The PERIOP-OG Study)

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
HOBOKEN
WILEY
Read more

(#) PATHway-I: Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a technology-enabled home-based cardiac rehabilitation system

Dr. Catherine Woods
2019
ABINGDON
TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Read more

A feasibility study of an exercise intervention to educate, and promote health and well-being, among medical students: The 'MED-WELL' programme

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
LONDON
SPRINGER LONDON LTD
Read more

Associations Between Screen-time And Depressive Symptoms: Results From CSPPA-2

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
PHILADELPHIA
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS
Read more

Assessing physical activity through questionnaires – A consensus of best practices and future directions

Dr. Catherine Woods
2020
Read more