From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

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Two Scottish Premier League football clubs have been coaching prisoners on how to be more active, eat more healthily and manage their weight in jail.

Football Fans in Training goes behind bars

posted on: May 1, 2013

Two Scottish Premier League football clubs have been coaching prisoners on how to be more active, eat more healthily and manage their weight in jail. Community coaches from Dundee United and St Johnstone have been working with officers at Perth Prison to deliver the award-winning Football Fans in Training programme to inmates. The prisoners have been using pedometers to monitor their daily exercise levels and have been replacing unhealthy snacks with fruit. Many have reported feeling better about themselves and sleeping better as a result of being on the programme. Perth Prison PE Instructor, Craig Mailer, says “Some of our staff members had achieved great results on Football Fans in Training courses at Dundee United and St Johnstone. We wanted to give the prisoners here the same opportunity. They have really taken the key healthy living messages on board. They are walking more, attending extra sessions at the gym, and many have been passing what they have learned on to other inmates and to their wives, partners and children.”

 
Researchers from the Medical Research Council and University of Glasgow are working with the prison to identify ways in which inmates can make changes to their exercise and diets both while in jail and once they are released. Professor Kate Hunt from the Medical Research Council says “The men who have taken part have done really well. Poor diet, inadequate physical activity, obesity and poor mental health are real problems within the Prison Service as they are in the wider community. The benefit of being more active, eating a healthier diet and good weight management to mental health, as well as physical health, cannot be underestimated.”
 
 
 
The Football Fans in Training research project at Perth Prison is funded by the Chief Scientist Office.
For more information, please contact: cindy.gray@glasgow.ac.uk