Mr Angus Leahy

Mr Angus Leahy

Research Associate

School of Education

Career Summary

Biography

Angus is a casual academic and research associate in the School of Education and the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle. He attained a Bachelor of Teaching (Health and Physical Education) (Honours) from the University of Newcastle in 2016, and commenced his PhD in 2017. Angus’ doctoral research is focused on the development and evaluation of a novel school-based physical activity intervention (known as Burn 2 Learn) for senior school students (i.e., Grades 11 and 12). The Burn 2 Learn project examines the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), on students’ physiological, psychological, and cognitive health. 

Angus’ PhD has helped consolidate his research focus on investigating novel approaches to physical activity promotion in the school setting. Angus is also involved in a number of research projects to be delivered in NSW primary and secondary schools using scalable intervention designs. In addition, Angus has recently been involved in the delivery of the ‘Resistance Training for Teens’ professional development workshop for school teachers in partnership with the NSW Department of Education.  


Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Teaching (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Cognition
  • Executive function
  • Exercise
  • Fitness
  • High-intensity interval training
  • Intervention
  • Physical activity
  • Physical education
  • Psychological health
  • Public health
  • Schools

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia
Research Associate University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia
Research Associate University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2019 Faculty of Education and Arts Higher Degree Research Achievement Award
Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
PUBH 1030 Foundation Studies in K-6 PDHPE
University of Newcastle Faculty of Education
Course Lecturer 26/2/2018 - 8/6/2018
EDUC 2747 K-6 PDHPE
University of Newcastle Faculty of Education and Arts
Course Tutor 24/7/2017 - 13/11/2020
EDUC 1014 PE Studies 1: Motor Development and Skill Acquisition
University of Newcastle Faculty of Education and Arts
Course Tutor 24/2/2020 - 12/6/2020
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Eather N, Ridley K, Leahy A, 'Physiological Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Young People', The Routledge Handbook of Youth Physical Activity, Routledge, New York, NY 103-120 (2020) [B1]
Co-authors Narelle Eather

Journal article (10 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Shigeta TT, Leahy AA, Smith JJ, Eather N, Lubans DR, Hillman CH, 'Cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness associations with older adolescent cognitive control', Journal of Sport and Health Science, 10 82-90 (2021) [C1]

Background: Participation in physical activity supports greater cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), a correlate of cognitive control. However, the relationship between muscular fitne... [more]

Background: Participation in physical activity supports greater cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), a correlate of cognitive control. However, the relationship between muscular fitness (MF) and cognitive control is less clear. The present study investigated the differential relationship of CRF and MF with cognitive control in older adolescents. Methods: This cross-sectional study involved students (15¿17 years old, n = 541, 43% female) from 20 secondary schools who completed tests of inhibition (modified flanker task), working memory (n-back task), CRF (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run), and MF (standing long jump and push-up test). Multilevel analyses tested the association between CRF or MF and cognitive outcomes while accounting for the influence of the other fitness variable and relevant demographic factors. Results: CRF predicted response accuracy during incongruent flanker trials, the condition requiring greater inhibition. For the working memory task, CRF predicted greater target accuracy and greater d' scores on the 1-back task, requiring lesser amounts of working memory. In the 2-back task, which requires greater amounts of working memory, CRF also predicted greater target and non-target accuracy and d' scores. Comparatively, MF did not predict any cognitive outcomes after adjustment for CRF. Conclusion: CRF was selectively related to better performance during task conditions that require greater amounts of inhibition and working memory. This finding suggests that CRF, but not MF, may benefit cognitive control in older adolescents. This selective influence of CRF on older adolescents¿ cognition highlights the value of aerobic physical activity.

DOI 10.1016/j.jshs.2020.05.004
Citations Scopus - 2
Co-authors David Lubans, Narelle Eather, Jordan Smith
2020 Leahy AA, Michels MFI, Eather N, Hillman CH, Shigeta TT, Lubans DR, Smith JJ, 'Feasibility of test administration and preliminary findings for cognitive control in the Burn 2 learn pilot randomised controlled trial', Journal of Sports Sciences, 38 1708-1716 (2020) [C1]

The feasibility requirements of administering field-based cognitive assessments are rarely reported. We examined the feasibility of administering a group-based cognitive test batt... [more]

The feasibility requirements of administering field-based cognitive assessments are rarely reported. We examined the feasibility of administering a group-based cognitive test battery in a school setting with older adolescents. Several types of reliability were also assessed in the control group. Preliminary efficacy and the relationship between changes in fitness and changes in cognitive control were also explored following a 14-week HIIT intervention (3 sessions/week). Participants completed a cognitive test battery measuring inhibition (flanker), and working memory (n-back) at baseline and post-test.¿Health-related fitness assessments were also conducted.¿Test administration took approximately 30.8¿±¿1.5¿minutes to complete with up to six participants simultaneously. The test battery demonstrated acceptable reliability (ICC¿=¿0.5¿0.81), with significant changes observed for flanker incongruent accuracy, and 2-back non-target accuracy from baseline to post-test. Regarding efficacy,¿small-to-moderate effects were observed for accuracy outcomes, while several small associations were found between changes in fitness and changes in cognition. Findings from the current study suggest a cognitive test battery can be administered with older adolescents in a school setting. However, there remains a lack of adequate reporting of administration requirements for field-based cognitive assessments. Efficacy findings should be confirmed with a larger and more representative sample of older adolescents.

DOI 10.1080/02640414.2020.1756673
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors David Lubans, Jordan Smith, Narelle Eather
2020 Janssen A, Leahy AA, Diallo TMO, Smith JJ, Kennedy SG, Eather N, et al., 'Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and mental health in older adolescents: A multi-level cross-sectional analysis', PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, 132 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.105985
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Sarah Kennedy, Narelle Eather, David Lubans, Jordan Smith
2020 Kennedy SG, Leahy AA, Smith JJ, Eather N, Hillman CH, Morgan PJ, et al., 'Process Evaluation of a School-Based High-Intensity Interval Training Program for Older Adolescents: The Burn 2 Learn Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial', CHILDREN-BASEL, 7 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/children7120299
Co-authors Sarah Kennedy, David Lubans, Ron Plotnikoff, Philip Morgan, Jordan Smith, Narelle Eather
2020 Lubans DR, Smith JJ, Eather N, Leahy AA, Morgan PJ, Lonsdale C, et al., 'Time-efficient intervention to improve older adolescents' cardiorespiratory fitness: Findings from the Burn 2 Learn' cluster randomised controlled trial', British Journal of Sports Medicine, (2020) [C1]

Background: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important marker of current and future health status. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a time-efficient... [more]

Background: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important marker of current and future health status. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a time-efficient school-based intervention on older adolescents' CRF. Methods: Two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial conducted in two cohorts (February 2018 to February 2019 and February 2019 to February 2020) in New South Wales, Australia. Participants (N=670, 44.6% women, 16.0±0.43 years) from 20 secondary schools: 10 schools (337 participants) were randomised to the Burn 2 Learn (B2L) intervention and 10 schools (333 participants) to the control. Teachers in schools allocated to the B2L intervention were provided with training, resources, and support to facilitate the delivery of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) activity breaks during curriculum time. Teachers and students in the control group continued their usual practice. The primary outcome was CRF (20 m multi-stage fitness test). Secondary outcomes were muscular fitness, physical activity, hair cortisol concentrations, mental health and cognitive function. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 6 months (primary end-point) and 12 months. Effects were estimated using mixed models accounting for clustering. Results: We observed a group-by-time effect for CRF (difference=4.1 laps, 95% CI 1.8 to 6.4) at the primary end-point (6 months), but not at 12 months. At 6 months, group-by-time effects were found for muscular fitness, steps during school hours and cortisol. Conclusions: Implementing HIIT during curricular time improved adolescents' CRF and several secondary outcomes. Our findings suggest B2L is unlikely to be an effective approach unless teachers embed sessions within the school day. Trial registration number: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12618000293268).

DOI 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103277
Co-authors Ron Plotnikoff, Sarah Valkenborghs, Jordan Smith, Rohan Walker, Michael Nilsson, Narelle Eather, Philip Morgan, Natasha Weaver, David Lubans, Liz Holliday, Sarah Kennedy
2020 Mavilidi MF, Mason C, Leahy AA, Kennedy SG, Eather N, Hillman CH, et al., 'Effect of a Time-Efficient Physical Activity Intervention on Senior School Students' On-Task Behaviour and Subjective Vitality: the 'Burn 2 Learn' Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial', EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 33 299-323 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s10648-020-09537-x
Citations Web of Science - 3
Co-authors David Lubans, Narelle Eather, Philip Morgan, Sarah Kennedy, Nicholas Riley
2020 Wade L, Leahy A, Lubans DR, Smith JJ, Duncan MJ, 'A systematic review of cognitive assessment in physical activity research involving children and adolescents', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23 740-745 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.12.020
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Jordan Smith, David Lubans, Mitch Duncan
2020 Leahy AA, Mavilidi MF, Smith JJ, Hillman CH, Eather N, Barker D, Lubans DR, 'Review of High-Intensity Interval Training for Cognitive and Mental Health in Youth.', Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 52 2224-2234 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1249/mss.0000000000002359
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Narelle Eather, Jordan Smith, Daniel Barker, David Lubans
2019 Leahy AA, Eather N, Smith JJ, Hillman CH, Morgan PJ, Plotnikoff RC, et al., 'Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Teacher-Facilitated High-Intensity Interval Training Intervention for Older Adolescents.', Pediatr Exerc Sci, 31 107-117 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1123/pes.2018-0039
Citations Scopus - 12Web of Science - 12
Co-authors Jordan Smith, Philip Morgan, Michael Nilsson, Narelle Eather, David Lubans, Ron Plotnikoff
2019 Leahy AA, Eather N, Smith JJ, Hillman C, Morgan PJ, Nilsson M, et al., 'School-based physical activity intervention for older adolescents: rationale and study protocol for the Burn 2 Learn cluster randomised controlled trial', BMJ OPEN, 9 (2019)
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026029
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Michael Nilsson, Rohan Walker, Sarah Kennedy, Philip Morgan, Sarah Valkenborghs, Narelle Eather, Ron Plotnikoff, Jordan Smith, David Lubans, Liz Holliday
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Wade L, Leahy A, Lubans D, Smith J, Duncan M, 'A systematic review of cognitive assessment in physical activity research involving children and adolescents', Twin Waters (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.08.156
Co-authors Jordan Smith, David Lubans, Mitch Duncan
2019 Leahy A, Smith J, Eather N, Morgan P, Lonsdale C, Noetel M, et al., 'Utility and feasibility of a smartphone app to support school-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT): Findings from the Burn 2 Learn cluster RCT', Twin Waters (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.08.219
Co-authors Philip Morgan, Narelle Eather, Ron Plotnikoff, David Lubans, Mitch Duncan
2019 Shigeta TT, Leahy AA, Smith JJ, Eather N, Lubans DR, Hillman CH, 'Aerobic and Muscular Fitness Associations with Adolescent Cognitive Control', MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, Orlando, FL (2019)
DOI 10.1249/01.mss.0000562147.77946.67
Co-authors Jordan Smith, David Lubans, Narelle Eather
2018 Leahy A, Smith J, Eather N, Hillman C, Morgan P, Plotnikoff R, et al., 'Effects of a school-based high-intensity interval training intervention on older adolescents cognition', Perth, WA (2018)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.09.164
Co-authors Jordan Smith, Philip Morgan, Narelle Eather, Ron Plotnikoff, David Lubans
2018 Leahy A, Hillman C, Shigeta T, Smith J, Eather N, Morgan P, et al., 'Teacher facilitated high-intensity interval training intervention for older adolescents: The Burn 2 Learn pilot randomised controlled trial', Perth (2018)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.09.163
Co-authors Jordan Smith, Philip Morgan, Ron Plotnikoff, David Lubans
Show 2 more conferences
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Mr Angus Leahy

Positions

Research Associate
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Academic
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Contact Details

Email angus.leahy@newcastle.edu.au

Office

Room ATC-304
Building Advanced Technology Centre
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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