Dr Cooper is an Associate Professor in Exercise, Cognition and Health at Nottingham Trent University. His research focuses primarily on the effects of physical activity on cognitive function and cardiometabolic health in young people, alongside more broad research interests examining injury and illness surveillance in elite sport and optimising team sport performance. Dr Cooper is Head of the Physical Activity and Nutrition for Health Across the Lifespan (PANHAL) Research Group, within the SHAPE Research Centre. Dr Cooper primarily teaches exercise and health physiology, and is module leader for Physical Activity for Health.
Dr Cooper completed a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (2008) and PhD (2011) at Loughborough University, before joining NTU as a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology in 2011. Dr Cooper was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016 and Associate Professor in 2019.
Dr Cooper is a member of the Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Group. His research interests include:
- The factors affecting cognitive function in young people, with a focus on the role of physical activity. Work is continuing to examine the optimum modality, intensity and duration of exercise to optimise cognition in young people
- The effects of physical activity on cardiometabolic health in young people
- Exercise in the heat and neuromuscular and cognitive function
- The reciprocal relationship between self-control and physical activity/exercise performance
- Injury and illness surveillance and monitoring in elite sport
- More broadly, the effect of team games on young athletes
Current PhD students under supervision as Director of Studies include:
- Luke Gilbert: Evaluating the role of Physical Education in enhancing cognitive function and health in young people
- Elise Sibbick: Using physical activity to enhance cognitive function, self-control and resilience in young people with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Students recently supervised to PhD completion include:
- Raymon Hunte (2019-2022): Self-control depletion and exercise performance: mechanisms of the effect
- Lorna Hatch (2018-2021): Physical activity and cognitive function in young people: the key moderating variables and a spotlight on The Daily Mile intervention
- Ryan Williams (2017-2021). The influence of team games on cardiometabolic health and cognitive function in young people.
- Ben Cousins (2016-2020). Examining the demands and load of elite Rugby Union: influence on time-loss incidence occurrence and severity.
- Karah Dring (2015-2020). Effects of exercise training on adolescent cardiometabolic health and performance.
- Rachel Malcolm (2013-2018). The effect of heat exposure and intermittent exercise on neuromuscular and cognitive function
- Daniel Martin (2013-2018). The effect of reproductive hormones and energy availability on muscle function, cognition and bone metabolism in females
Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD are available in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.
In 2019, Dr Cooper took up the position of Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education at The Education University of Hong Kong.
Dr Cooper has reviewed for a wide range of sport science (and related) journals, spanning his research interests. Dr Cooper has also acted as a grant reviewer for the British Heart Foundation, The Waterloo Foundation and DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
Other external activity:
Dr Cooper has acted as a consultant for a number of external organisations, including BBC Supermovers. Dr Cooper is also a member of The Daily Mile Research Advisory Group and Nottingham City Council Eating and Moving for Good Health steering group. Dr Cooper is also external examiner for Loughborough University/Loughborough College.
Dr Cooper is keen to combine his expertise and experiences in sport science with his passion for cricket, particularly cricket officiating. Any opportunities to work in this domain are very welcome.
- American College of Sports Medicine
- British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
- European College of Sport Sciences (ECSS)
Sponsors and collaborators
Dr Cooper collaborates with a number of external organisations, including on funded projects. Some examples of collaborating organisations include:
- The Rosetrees Trust
- Education Endowment Foundation
- The Football Association (FA)
- The Waterloo Foundation
- The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre
- London Irish Rugby Football Club
- Nottingham City Council Eating and Moving for Good Health steering group
- Nottingham City Care Partnerships / Small Steps Big Change (SSBC)
- The Daily Mile Foundation
- Youth Sport Trust
Selected Recent Publications:
GILBERT, L.M., DRING, K.J., WILLIAMS, R.A., BOAT, R., SUNDERLAND, C., MORRIS, J.G., NEVILL, M.E. and COOPER, S.B., 2023. Effects of a games-based physical education lesson on cognitive function in adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 14: 1098861. ISSN 1664-1078
WILLIAMS, R.A., DRING, K.J., MORRIS, J.G., SUN, F.-H. and COOPER, S.B., 2023. Agreement and equivalence of estimated physical activity behaviours, using ENMO- and counts-based processing methods, for wrist-worn accelerometers in adolescents. Journal of Sports Sciences. ISSN 0264-0414
DRING, K.J., COOPER, S.B., WILLIAMS, R.A., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C., FOULDS, G.A., POCKLEY, A.G. and NEVILL, M.E., 2022. Effect of adiposity and physical fitness on cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents: a 2-year longitudinal study. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4: 1060530. ISSN 2624-9367
BOAT, R., COOPER, S.B., CARLEVARO, F., MAGNO, F., BARDAGLIO, G., MUSELLA, G. and MAGISTRO, D., 2022. 16 weeks of physically active mathematics and English language lessons improves cognitive function and gross motor skills in children aged 8–9 years. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (24): 16751. ISSN 1661-7827
HUNTE, R., COOPER, S.B., TAYLOR, I.M., NEVILL, M.E. and BOAT, R., 2022. Boredom, motivation, and perceptions of pain: mechanisms to explain the effects of self-control exertion on subsequent physical performance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 63: 102265. ISSN 1469-0292
ZHU, Y., SUN, F., TAO, S., COOPER, S.B. and GAO, T.-Y., 2022. Association between nutritional status, physical fitness and executive functions in preadolescents: a person-centered approach. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 10: 966510. ISSN 2296-2360
SIBBICK, E., BOAT, R., SARKAR, M., GROOM, M. and COOPER, S.B., 2022. Acute effects of physical activity on cognitive function in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 23: 100469. ISSN 1755-2966
BOAT, R., WILLIAMS, R.A., DRING, K.J., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C., NEVILL, M.E. and COOPER, S.B., 2022. Associations of self-control with physical activity, physical fitness, and adiposity in adolescents. Behavioral Medicine. ISSN 0896-4289
DRING, K.J., HATCH, L.A., WILLIAMS, R.A., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C., NEVILL, M.E. and COOPER, S.B., 2022. Effect of 5-weeks participation in The Daily Mile on cognitive function, physical fitness, and body composition in children. Scientific Reports, 12: 14309. ISSN 2045-2322
WILLIAMS, R.A., DRING, K.J., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C., NEVILL, M.E. and COOPER, S.B., 2022. Effect of two-weeks of school-based sprint training on physical fitness, risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases and cognitive function in adolescent girls: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4: 884051. ISSN 2624-9367
ZHU, Y., SUN, F., CHOW, G.C.C., TAO, S., COOPER, S.B., ZHANG, B. and WONG, T.W.L., 2022. Associations of device-measured physical activity, sedentary behavior, and executive function in preadolescents: a latent profile approach. Pediatric Exercise Science. ISSN 0899-8493
MAGISTRO, D., COOPER, S.B., CARLEVARO, F., MARCHETTI, I., MAGNO, F., BARDAGLIO, G. and MUSELLA, G., 2022. Two years of physically active mathematics lessons enhance cognitive function and gross motor skills in primary school children. Psychology of Sport and Exercise: 102254. ISSN 1469-0292
SUN, F., CHOW, G.C.-C., YU, C.C.-W., HO, Y.-F., LIU, D., WONG, S.H.-S., SIU, P.M.-F., COOPER, S.B. and JENKINS, D., 2022. Effect of game-based high-intensity interval training program on the executive function of children with ADHD: protocol of a randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 17 (7): e0272121.
MALCOLM, R., COOPER, S., FOLLAND, J.P., TYLER, C.J. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2022. The influence of a competitive field hockey match on cognitive function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 16: 829924. ISSN 1662-5161
COUSINS, B.E.W., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C., BENNETT, A.M., SHAHTAHMASSEBI, G. and COOPER, S.B., 2022. Training and match demands of elite rugby union. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. ISSN 1064-8011
WILLIAMS, R.A., COOPER, S.B., DRING, K.J., HATCH, L., MORRIS, J.G., SUN, F.-H. and NEVILL, M.E., 2022. Physical fitness, physical activity and adiposity: associations with risk factors for cardiometabolic disease and cognitive function across adolescence. BMC Pediatrics, 22: 75. ISSN 1471-2431
HUNTE, R., COOPER, S.B., TAYLOR, I.M., NEVILL, M.E. and BOAT, R., 2021. The mechanisms underpinning the effects of self-control exertion on subsequent physical performance: a meta-analysis. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. ISSN 1750-984X
HATCH, L.M., DRING, K.J., WILLIAMS, R.A., SUNDERLAND, C., NEVILL, M.E. and COOPER, S.B., 2021. Effect of differing durations of high-intensity intermittent activity on cognitive function in adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (21): 11594. ISSN 1661-7827
HATCH, L.M., WILLIAMS, R.A., DRING, K.J., SUNDERLAND, C., NEVILL, M.E., SARKAR, M., MORRIS, J.G. and COOPER, S.B., 2021. The Daily Mile™: acute effects on children’s cognitive function and factors affecting their enjoyment. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 57: 102047. ISSN 1469-0292
COUSINS, B.E.W., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C., BENNETT, A.M., SHAHTAHMASSEBI, G. and COOPER, S.B., 2021. Synthetic playing surfaces increase the incidence of match injuries in an elite Rugby Union team. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. ISSN 1440-2440
MALCOLM, R., COOPER, S., FOLLAND, J., HANNAH, R., TYLER, C. and SUNDERLAND, C., 2021. Reliability of transcranial magnetic stimulation measurements of maximum activation of the knee extensors in young adult males. Human Movement Science, 78: 102828. ISSN 0167-9457
BOAT, R., SUNDERLAND, C. and COOPER, S.B., 2021. Detrimental effects of prior self‐control exertion on subsequent sporting skill performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. ISSN 0905-7188
HATCH, L.M., WILLIAMS, R.A., DRING, K.J., SUNDERLAND, C., NEVILL, M.E. and COOPER, S.B., 2021. Activity patterns of primary school children during participation in The Daily Mile. Scientific Reports, 11: 7462. ISSN 2045-2322
MARTIN, D., COOPER, S., TANG, J.C.Y., FRASER, W.D., SALE, C. and ELLIOTT-SALE, K.J., 2021. Bone metabolic marker concentrations across the menstrual cycle and phases of combined oral contraceptive use. Bone, 145: 115864. ISSN 8756-3282
BOAT, R., WILLIAMSON, O., READ, J., JEONG, Y.H. and COOPER, S.B., 2021. Self-control exertion and caffeine mouth rinsing: effects on cycling time-trial performance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 53: 101877. ISSN 1469-0292
WILLIAMS, R.A., COOPER, S., DRING, K.J., HATCH, L., MORRIS, J.G., SUNDERLAND, C. and NEVILL, M.E., 2021. Effect of acute football activity and physical fitness on glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in adolescents. Journal of Sports Sciences. ISSN 0264-0414
For a full list, please click below.
- Physical activity and cognitive function in young people
- Physical activity and cardiometabolic health in young people