Sport, Health and Implementation

The research group focuses upon the implementation of sport, exercise and health from multiple, perspectives from within the social sciences and humanities.


Our work includes research and evaluation on the impact of sport and health policy at political, social, organizational, historical and psychological levels.

We also focus upon how innovative health interventions which utilize sport, exercise or physical activity, are designed and implemented in multiple contexts, including the workplace, sports clubs, health centres, schools and both urban and rural areas.

The research group's research features ground-breaking social scientific research from both critical perspectives, and in relation to applied research or evaluation work conducted in collaboration with external stakeholders and researchers in sport and health promotion.

To this end, the group has two key research tracks, or areas of inquiry.


Main tracks


Research relating to track one utilizes a broad conceptualisation of health relating to the body’s physical and mental status and to a healthy social life across the life course and in all social groups. Our work explores how both new and existing sport, exercise and health interventions and policies have been designed, implemented and evaluated.

Our work also focuses upon issues relating to welfare, citizenship, wellbeing and quality of life and the efficacy of the healthcare system and health strategies in relation to the promotion and maintenance of active lifestyles.

Such work coheres around several key issues relating to social inequalities and the experience of sport and health, including socio-economic class, physical activity across the life-course, gender and racial/ethnic inequalities and other groups at risk of (or in the process of managing) ill-health.

We aim to produce new insights into the barriers and opportunities presented to such specific populations by interventions intended to create the possibility for positive, active lifestyles. Consequently, this theme focuses upon how sports providers implement and have implemented sport and exercise programmes to promote good health, and enjoyment in the community.



Research in track 2 focuses upon our aim to characterise the embodied, subjective and lived experiences of sport and exercise for health in the community in both local and international contexts.

We also aim to understand how these experiences influence participation amongst specific population groups (e.g. socio-economic class, racialized groups, age groups, gendered groups, disabled groups and groups with specific health needs).

Sports participation has diversified, and the organization of community sport has changed as a consequence such that more stakeholders (from multiple sectors) have a part to play. Consequently, we aim to investigate how the lived experience of sport shape participation in particular social contexts, in specific sport programmes and in the broader community.

In particular, we are interested in understanding the factors which influence the effectiveness and efficacy of innovative initiatives, programmes and interventions to promote active lifestyles, and how these influence and have influenced people’s experiences of being active.


Research projects


To explore physical activity experiences of individuals with spinal cord injury throughout the life course.

The purpose of this programme of research is to explore the experiences of injured rugby players in the physical activity interventions provided by the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF) and evaluate the influence of these activities on the health and well-being of injured players over time.

With an increasing number of younger people sustaining SCI living longer, there is an urgent need to understand the unique needs of those ageing with SCI and the role of physical activities on quality of life throughout the life course.

Funded by

The University of Copenhagen

Leeds Beckett University



PhD student Laura Wilcock



Development and Implementation of Persuasive Communication Messages

The aim of DOPE-FIT is to tackle and prevent fitness doping in Denmark by differentiating user/nonuser groups and by creating an effective evidence-based communication campaign.

Collaboration partners

This is an international project carried out in collaboration with Prof. William D. Crano, William Crano holds the Oskamp Chair, Distinguished Professorship in Psychology in Claremont Graduate University’s Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences, Claremont, California, US.


Stefano De Dominicis
Assistant professor



Two scientific book and 15 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals concerning I.P. Muller (1866-1938), who issued a book called My System that was translated into 26 languages and sold worldwide in 1.5 million copies.

Main question

What was Muller’s impact within sport, hygiene, health promotion, sexology, and the breakthrough of modern behavioral codes?

Main source material: From archives in Falster, Copenhagen, Berlin and London.

Focus areas

History of sport, gymnastics, hygiene, health, sexology and early modernity.

History of senses, history of emotions.


Bonde H., Sundhedsapostlen J.P. MüllerUniversity of Southern Denmark Press, 2020 (524 pages).

Bonde, H., Tidligere studerende blev verdensberømt sundhedsapostel, Universitetsavisen, 26/5, 2020.

Bonde, H., En ny kærligheds- og kropsreligion. Sundhedsapostlen J.P. Müllers ansatser til en ny kristen etik, Kronik: Kristeligt Dagblad, 18/5, 2020. 

Bonde, H., Frisindets pioner, Politiken, 29/11, 2019.

Bonde H., From Hygiene to Salvation: I.P. Muller, International Advocate of Gymnastics. The International Journal of the History of Sport. Volume 26, 2009 - Issue 10.


Professor Hans Bonde



In this project are we apply the social-psychological understanding of leadership to develop leadership skills in young athletes.

This project is carried out by several BSc and MSc students.


Stefano De Dominicis
Assistant professor



Every top-level athlete, coach and manager knows that being mentally ready for peak performance is as importat as being physically and technically ready.

In this project we study how to leverage Psychological Skills Training (PST) to promote wellbeing and peak performance in elite sport.

This project is carried out by several MSc students, and we are seeking interested applicants for a structured PhD program.


Stefano De Dominicis
Assistant professor



The ubiquity of new technologies (smart phones, wearables, etc.) posits new opportunities for various stakeholder to foster healthier lifestyles in our communities, from exercise to healthy nutrition.

In this project we study the social-psychological determinants and correlates of healthy behaviours, from personal factors (fx, motivation) to social factors (fx, group charactereistics) and how they can be leveraged through new technologies.

This project is carried out by several MSc students, and we are seeking interested applicants for a structured PhD program.


Stefano De Dominicis
Assistant professor



An in-depth sociological analysis of how the collaborations work, and whether it affects adherence to physical activity in everyday life.

The report analyzes how public institutions collaborate with voluntary sports clubs and other sports communities.

Furthermore, it is examined whether and how this collaboration affects the sustainability of individuals’ adherence to a physical active lifestyle in their everyday life.

To be published

  • A condensed report on findings and recommendations for danish municipalities
  • A literature review with more detail

Funded by

University of Copenhagen


The Municipality of Copenhagen Department of Public Health


PhD Fellow Signe Engdal



Advancements and new technologies

In this project are we defines the state-of-the-art of psychological and behavioural metrics in sport psychology (from laypeople to elite levels), and we explore the roles and opportunities of new technologies in the advancements of measuring psychological and behavioural markers in sport psychology (smartphones, wearable devices, ecological momentary assessment, etc.)

This is a double-degree PhD project is carried in collaboration between Department of Nutrition Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona, Italy.


PhD student Michael John Dwyer



 – the significance of work, family and leisure in relation to a physical active life style among women

The project will create new and important insight regarding the possibilities and limitations of the everyday life in relation to a physical active lifestyle among women.

Many women experience a time pressure due to long working hours and routine tasks at home. Work, family and leisure are interrelated, and this project illuminates how the relation between the three spheres in everyday life influences the level of physical activity through life among women.

The project involves a qualitative design consisting of 26 semi structured individual interviews with Danish women aged 57-65. The women are divided into two groups; either physical inactive active during the last 20 years.

Funded by

Ministry of Culture.


Assistant Professor Maria Hybholt


Members of research group

Name Title Phone E-mail
Hans Bonde Professor +4535320862 E-mail
Laila Ottesen Associate Professor, Head of Section +4535321741 E-mail
Laura Wilcock PhD Student   E-mail
Maria Hybholt Assistant Professor +4535320840 E-mail
Stefano De Dominicis Assistant Professor - Tenure Track +4535326016 E-mail