Press Release

13 September 2013

Dr Kate Woolf-May, Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure, is leading a new study that aims to develop better exercise regimes to help the rehabilitation of people who have had heart attacks.

Currently a standard exercise treadmill test is used to determine endurance fitness, and information gained from this test is often used to assess the suitability of individuals for exercise prescribed during cardiac rehabilitation. However, the figures used in deciding the intensity of the exercise for cardiac patients are based on test results that have traditionally come from healthy individuals.

Previous research has shown a significant difference in exercise ability between heart patients and healthy individuals. The study hopes to determine more suitable exercise regimes for people who have had heart attacks, based on treadmill results from heart patients rather than healthy individuals.

Dr Woolf-May explained: “This area of research is extremely important, especially since cardiac patients are getting younger and increasing in number.  While it is known that exercise can reduce risk of heart disease, when prescribed appropriately, it can be extremely beneficial to those with, and recuperating from, heart conditions.

“There is still much to be learnt with regard to the effect of a heart condition upon an individual’s exercise function and ability, which becomes altered post cardiac event and/or procedure, and exercise prescription for a healthy individual may not always be appropriate for a cardiac patient. Our work is aimed at looking to provide more appropriate exercise prescription for these patients in order to enhance the quality of their lives.”

The study is funded by the East Kent Hospital Charitable Trust and is conducted under the umbrella ‘Collaborative Research into Exercise as Medicine’ (CREM). It is being led by Dr Kate Woolf-May, from the Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure at Canterbury Christ Church University; Edward Kearney, Consultant Clinical Scientist for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust; Steve Meadows, University of Kent and research assistants Debbie Ferrett and Anna Upton from Canterbury Christ Church University.

The researchers are looking to recruit post-heart attack males aged between 50 and 75 years, who have suffered a heart attack within the last five years.  Participants would be required to perform two treadmill walking tests at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Canterbury Campus, which would be supervised by two researchers who are specialist in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise.

Interested individuals will be sent more detailed information about the study and would be required to undergo screening before they can be accepted onto the study to ensure every participant meets the specific criteria for this particular study.  If for any reason an individual is not found to meet the criteria other studies are planned for which they may be suitable.  Any interested individuals should contact principal research assistant Debbie Ferrett at or call 07919 434079.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 94% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00