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Dr. Elaine Murtagh


Elaine Murtagh is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences. Elaine was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Physical Education) and a PhD from Ulster University. She also holds a Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning & Scholarship from the University of Limerick.

Elaine joined UL in March 2020. Prior to this appointment she was a lecturer in Physical Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Limerick from 2008. Elaine also held the post of Athena SWAN Project Director at MIC and led the College's successful application for a Bronze Institutional award.

Elaine is currently Co-Chair of the World Health Organisation's HEPA Europe (European network for the promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity) working group on children and young people. From 2014-2017 Elaine served as Co-Director of PEPAYS Ireland, a national research centre examining issues relating to Physical Education, Physical Activity and Youth Sport across the lifespan.

Research Interests

Elaine Murtagh's research interests are in physical activity and physical education. Her work focuses on developing and evaluating programmes to enhance physical activity opportunities for children and adults. She also examines the effect of physical activity on health. Elaine has co-authored approx 50 peer-reviewed journal articles to date.

Current projects include:

  • Learning in Motion: embedding gender-responsive, play-based pedagogies in teacher education in Palestine
  • Development of a National Statement on Physical Literacy
  • Moving to Learn Ireland Practitioner Forum: A forum for teachers to engage with and share practice of a movement integration programme for primary school children
  • Supporting Our Lifelong Engagement: Mothers and Teens Exercising (SOLE MATES)

Research Collaborators

  • Prof Marie Murphy - International Collaboration Type - University of Ulster -Northern Ireland -.
  • Dr Sarahjane Belton - Joint Publication - Dublin City University
  • Prof Charlie Foster - Joint Publication - University of Bristol -England
  • Prof Philip Morgan - University of Newcastle -Australia
  • Dr Karen Milton - University of East Anglia -England
  • Dr Rosemarie Martin
  • Dr Richard Bowles
  • Dr Wesley O'Brien - University College Cork
  • Dr Jaimie McMullen - University of Northern Colorado


Other Journal

Other Publication


Peer Reviewed Journal


Interventions outside the workplace for reducing sedentary behaviour in adults under 60 years of age.
Murtagh EM;Murphy MH;Milton K;Roberts NW;O'Gorman CS;Foster C;
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012554.pub2


The Influence of Role Models on the Sedentary Behaviour Patterns of Primary School-Aged Children and Associations with Psychosocial Aspects of Health
Hegarty L.;Murphy M.H.;Kirby K.;Murtagh E.;Mallett J.;Mair J.L.
International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17155345


Global Matrix 3.0 physical activity report card for children and youth: a comparison across Europe.
Coppinger T;Milton K;Murtagh E;Harrington D;Johansen D;Seghers J;Skovgaard T; ;Chalkley A;
Journal Of Public Health DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2020.07.025


The Effects of Continuous Compared to Accumulated Exercise on Health: A Meta-Analytic Review.
Murphy MH;Lahart I;Carlin A;Murtagh E;
Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) DOI: 10.1007/s40279-019-01145-2


Attaining the Active School Flag: how physical activity provision can be enhanced in Irish primary schools
Bowles R, Ní Chróinín D, Murtagh EM.
European Physical Education Review


Adolescent Girls' Perceptions of Physical Activity: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies.
Corr M;McSharry J;Murtagh EM;
American Journal Of Health Promotion : Ajhp DOI: 10.1177/0890117118818747


What works to promote walking at the population level? A systematic review.
Foster C;Kelly P;Reid HAB;Roberts N;Murtagh EM;Humphreys DK;Panter J;Milton K;
British journal of sports medicine DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098953


Associations between metabolic syndrome components and markers of inflammation in Welsh school children
Thomas, NE,Rowe, DA,Murtagh, EM,Stephens, JW,Williams, R
European Journal Of Pediatrics DOI: 10.1007/s00431-017-3065-y


Sedentary Behavior Research Network (SBRN) - Terminology Consensus Project process and outcome
Tremblay M.;Aubert S.;Barnes J.;Saunders T.;Carson V.;Latimer-Cheung A.;Chastin S.;Altenburg T.;Chinapaw M.;Aminian S.;Arundell L.;Hinkley T.;Hnatiuk J.;Atkin A.;Belanger K.;Chaput J.;Gunnell K.;Larouche R.;Manyanga T.;Gibbs B.;Bassett-Gunter R.;Biddle S.;Biswas A.;Chau J.;Colley R.;Coppinger T.;Craven C.;Cristi-Montero C.;de Assis Teles Santos D.;del Pozo Cruz B.;del Pozo-Cruz J.;Dempsey P.;do Carmo Santos Gonçalves R.;Ekelund U.;Ellingson L.;Ezeugwu V.;Fitzsimons C.;Florez-Pregonero A.;Friel C.;Fröberg A.;Giangregorio L.;Godin L.;Halloway S.;Husu P.;Kadir M.;Karagounis L.;Koster A.;Lakerveld J.;Lamb M.;LeBlanc A.;Lee E.;Lee P.;Lopes L.;Manns T.;Ginis K.;McVeigh J.;Meneguci J.;Moreira C.;Murtagh E.;Patterson F.;da Silva D.;Pesola A.;Peterson N.;Pettitt C.;Pilutti L.;Pereira S.;Poitras V.;Prince S.;Rathod A.;Rivière F.;Rosenkranz S.;Routhier F.;Santos R.;Smith B.;Theou O.;Tomasone J.;Tucker P.;Meyer R.;van der Ploeg H.;Villalobos T.;Viren T.
The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity DOI: 10.1186/s12966-017-0525-8


Interventions outside the workplace for reducing sedentary behaviour in adults under 60
Murtagh E.;Murphy M.;Foster C.;Milton K.;Roberts N.;O'Gorman C.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012554


Involvement of Fathers in Pediatric Obesity Treatment and Prevention Trials: A Systematic Review.
Morgan PJ;Young MD;Lloyd AB;Wang ML;Eather N;Miller A;Murtagh EM;Barnes AT;Pagoto SL;
The Journal of pediatrics DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-2635


Moving to learn Ireland - Classroom teachers' experiences of movement integration
McMullen, JM,Martin, R,Jones, J,Murtagh, EM
Teaching And Teacher Education DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2016.08.019


The effect of a classroomactivity break on physical activity levels and adiposity in primary school children
Drummy, C,Murtagh, EM,McKee, DP,Breslin, G,Davison, GW,Murphy, MH
Journal Of Paediatrics And Child Health DOI: 10.1111/jpc.13182


Psychosocial factors related to children's active school travel: A comparison of two European regions
McMinn, D; Rowe, DA; Murtagh, S; Nelson, NM; Čuk, I; Atiković, A; Peček, M; Breslin, G; Murtagh, EM; Murphy, MH
International Journal Of Exercise Science


In their shoes': exploring a modified approach to peer observation of teaching in a University setting
Kenny, A. D. Ní Chróinín, E. Mitchell, E. Vaughan & E. Murtagh
Innovations In Education And Teaching International DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2013.771971


Seasonal and annual variation in young children's physical activity
McKee D.;Murtagh E.;Boreham C.;Nevill A.;Murphy M.
Medicine and science in sports and exercise DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182464db5


Estimates of the number of people in England who attain or exceed vigorous intensity exercise by walking at 3 mph
Kelly, P.;Murphy, M.;Oja, P.;Murtagh, E.M.;Foster, C.;
Journal Of Sports Sciences


Walking: the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention.
Murtagh EM;Murphy MH;Boone-Heinonen J;
Current Opinion In Cardiology DOI: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e32833ce972


Physical Activity Prescription for Public Health
Murphy, MH; McNeilly, AM; Murtagh, EM
Proceedings Of The Nutrition Society


Acute responses of inflammatory markers of cardiovascular disease risk to a single walking session
Murtagh E.;Boreham C.;Nevill A.;Davison G.;Trinick T.;Duly E.;El-Agnaf M.;Murphy M.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2.3.324


Speed and exercise intensity of recreational walkers.
Murtagh EM;Boreham CA;Murphy MH;
Preventive Medicine DOI: 10.1006/pmed.2002.1090