Dr Lou Atkinson is a Lecturer in Psychology and applied health researcher at Aston University, as well as Honorary Research Fellow at both University of Warwickshire and University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire. Her research focus is on understanding the drivers of health-related behaviour, developing and evaluating interventions to support positive behaviour change, and on capturing the lived experience of the motherhood journey, as well as health conditions including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. Her PhD was achieved while working on maternal obesity and other health behaviour change studies at Coventry University, and summarises a multi-perspective exploration of engagement in weight management behaviours and services during and after pregnancy. She has published widely in the field of maternal health and physical activity, and has been invited to speak on these topics to medical & healthcare professionals, researchers and the public at international events and conferences.
Dr Atkinson is also a certified personal trainer and pre- and post-natal fitness instructor, and a Senior Master Trainer for a global fitness brand. She has over 20 years experience of working as a professional, educator and consultant in the health and fitness industry. She is a scientific advisor to the Active Pregnancy Foundation (maternal physical activity charity), and technical expert for Europe Active’s professional standards for Level 4 Personal Trainers. She continues to teach weekly indoor cycling classes at a local sports club.