Max Western

Max Western

Lecturer in Behavioural Science
Expert in physical activity behaviour for improving health and wellbeing and the role of wearables and other digital technologies in behaviour change.
Univeristy of Bath
+44 (0) 1225 383732

I am a lecturer in behavioural science at the University of Bath and my primary research interest is investigating ways to improve physical activity and health through applications of technology, particularly in sedentary working adults at risk of chronic disease, older adults with age-related health conditions and individuals of low socioeconomic status.

I have and continue to work on a number of projects aimed at developing innovative interventions to improve physical activity with technologies ranging from simple step counting based support to sophisticated, tailored websites. I also have a wealth of experience in mixed-methods research and the utilisation of the person-based approach to intervention development to optimise engagement, acceptability, usefulness and persuasiveness of it's features and functions.

Available for:
  • TV interviews,
  • Radio/podcast interviews,
  • Consultancy,
  • Special advisor,
  • Provide media quotes
  • Physical Activity,
  • health technology,
  • behaviour change,
  • mixed methods research,
  • person centred,
  • wearables,
  • exercise,
  • Apps,
  • research,
  • Ageing,
  • applied health research

Digital Assessment of Precision Physical Activity (DAPPA)

This Get a Move On Network+ funded feasibility study aims to develop an easy use aims to improve older adults’ health outcomes by developing a novel digital physical activity assessment and feedback tool using the Person-Based Approach pioneered by our research team. Existing physical activity measures in older adults are unreliable, and accurate measurement (e.g. accelerometers) is expensive and often unfeasible. A brief digital tool that combines self-report and digital data will help improve measurement and provide an effective intervention to increase activity and reduce sedentary behaviour.

The Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis Support Tool (POST) study.

The POST project aims to:

  1. Understand the lived experience of early-onset post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) symptoms and medical care-seeking behaviours of young people with a history of knee joint injury.
  2. Develop and conduct initial evaluation of a symptom selfmanagement
    tool to promote healthy behaviours (e.g., physical activity) for those with early PTOA symptoms.
  3. Develop and conduct initial evaluation of a decision making support tool to help these individuals understand when and how to seek appropriate medical care.

This research will directly address the individual experiences of those who are at risk of PTOA and develop an online tool that addresses their informational and treatment needs. It will be developed in collaboration with clinicians to ensure that it promotes appropriate symptom self-management and signposts people to the type of care they need, when they need it (improving patient outcomes and NHS burden).

Development of the intelligent Knee Osteoarthritis Lifestyle App (iKOALA)

This research will involve potential app users and physiotherapists as co-creators in the development of iKOALA (Intelligent Knee OA Lifestyle App), enabling: (i) the collection of data to monitor symptoms, user activation, goals, attitudes to, and preferences for, physical activity; (ii) in-app social interactions and feedback mechanisms that support a strong sense of relatedness amongst OA users; and (iii) intelligent physical activity recommendations, driven by models of expert knowledge and contextual data from users. The overall aim of iKOALA is to sustain physical activity for long-term self-management of osteoarthritis

REtirement in ACTion (REACT)

The REtirement in ACTion (REACT) study is a multi-centre, pragmatic, two-arm, parallel-group randomised controlled trial (RCT) with an internal pilot phase. It aims to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a community, group-based physical activity intervention for reducing, or reversing, the progression of functional limitations in older people who are at high risk of mobility-related disability.


Low physical activity is a major public health problem. New cost-effective approaches that stimulate meaningful long-term changes in physical activity are required, especially within primary care settings. It is becoming clear that there are various dimensions to physical activity with independent health benefits. Advances in technology mean that it is now possible to generate multidimensional physical activity ‘profiles’ that provide a more complete representation of physical activity and offer a variety of options that can be tailored to the individual. Mi-PACT is a randomised controlled trial designed to examine whether personalised multidimensional physical activity feedback and self-monitoring alongside trainer-supportive sessions increases physical activity and improves health outcomes in at-risk men and women.