Dr Shannon Sahlqvist (nee Shannon Ferney)

Former Career Development Fellow (to January 2012)

Dr Shannon SahlqvistShannon recently left CEDAR to join the School of Exercise and Nutrition at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. If you want to know more about Shannon’s work at CEDAR, please contact David Ogilvie.


  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement Studies – Exercise Science) Honours Class 1
  • Doctor of Philosophy (School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland)
  • Graduate Certificate Education (Higher Education)

Background and experience
Shannon studied exercise science at the School of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland in Australia. Shannon went on to complete a PhD also within the School of Human Movement Studies. Her doctoral work, which was within the field of physical activity promotion, examined the impact of an interactive neighborhood-focused website on physical activity participation. Building on the ‘first-generation’ of website-delivered physical activity interventions, Shannon conducted extensive preparatory work (including focus groups and user testing) to ensure the development of an innovative website that linked users with opportunities for physical activity in their neighborhood. The efficacy of the website was evaluated within a randomized controlled trial, which Shannon led. In early 2007, while finishing her PhD, Shannon started working as a lecturer in health promotion at The University of Queensland where she stayed until 2009. As well as teaching undergraduate courses, Shannon was involved in several research projects including a population-based study exploring physical activity patterns and determinants in adults living in rural areas, the evaluation of a worksite physical activity intervention and analysis of population level physical activity data.

Work and interests
Shannon’s area of research interest can broadly be defined as ‘physical activity and health’, in particular understanding and influencing physical activity. Shannon joined the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge in May 2009 as a Career Development Fellow and her research interests expanded to include active travel as a specific domain of physical activity. At CEDAR, Shannon worked largely on the iConnect project – a UK-wide project examining the impact of newly constructed infrastructure on walking and cycling, overall physical activity and carbon emissions. As part of project, Shannon conducted a study to validate two self-report measures of travel behavior, contributed substantially to the design of the iConnect survey and led the evaluation of one of the schemes, a footbridge crossing the A10 in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, linking directly to a high school. Shannon’s specific research interests include: a) understanding the health benefits of utility cycling, b) developing and evaluating population-based approaches to physical activity promotion; c) evaluating the impact of ‘natural’ experiments on active travel and d) exploring psychosocial and environmental determinants of active travel.


Shannon’s CEDAR publications here.

All publications to January 2012

  1. Sahlqvist, S. & Heesch, K. (2012). Characteristics of utility cyclists in Australia: an examination of the associations between individual, social and environmental factors and utility cycling. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 9(7).
  2. Heesch, K., Garrard, J. & Sahlqvist, S. (2011). What Factors are Associated with Cyclists Getting Injured? Correlates of cyclists’ accidental injuries in Queensland. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 43, 2085-2092.
  3. Ogilvie, D., Panter. J., Sahlqvist, S. & Marteau, T. (2011). Memorandum by the UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and the Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU), Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge (BC 139). In: Behaviour Change. House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee: 2nd Report of Session 2010–12. London: Stationery Office, 2011. Url: http://www.tsoshop.co.uk/bookstore.asp?FO=1159966&DI=631337
  4. Sahlqvist, S., Song, Y., Adams, E., Bull, F., Preston, J. & Ogilvie, D. (2011). Effect of questionnaire length, personalisation and reminder type on response rate to a complex postal survey: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 11:62.
  5. Yang, L., Sahlqvist, S., McMinn, A., Griffin, S. & Ogilvie, D. (2010). Interventions to promote cycling: A systematic review. BMJ. 341: c5293
  6. Brown, W.J., Heesch, K.C., Ferney, S., Burton, N.W. (2009). Physical activity in rural communities in Queensland. Brisbane, QLD; Health Promotion Queensland.
  7. Ferney, SL., Moorhead, GE., Bauman, AE. & Brown, WJ. (2009). Awareness and changing perceptions of Physical Activity Guidelines among delegates at the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport. 12, 642-646.
  8. Ferney, SL., Marshall, AL., Eakin, EG. & Owen, N. (2009).  Randomized trial of a neighborhood environment-focused physical activity website intervention. Preventive Medicine. 48, 144-150. 
  9. Ferney, SL. & Marshall, AL. (2006). Website physical activity interventions: Preferences of potential users. Health Education Research. 21, 560-566.