Strong local interest in Open Day to promote health and well-being research in Ceredigion

Aberystwyth University’s launch of a brand new Well-being and Health Assessment Research Unit (WARU) was well attended with nearly 200 local people at the Open Day on Wednesday the 15th of March.

The unit is located on Aberystwyth University’s Penglais Campus in the Carwyn James building and research undertaken by scientists there will promote health and well-being in the community, aiming to help to reduce the burden of chronic disease and hospital admissions.

Dr Rhys Thatcher is a sport and exercise specialist at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences and said “We were delighted to see so many members of the community participating in the Open Day, many of who showed an interest in taking part in our latest research projects.

At WARU we aim to conduct research that will inform and support people in mid-Wales enabling them to live healthier lifestyles and empowering them to help themselves.”

Paul James speaking at the WARU launch as himself, not as a Councillor, as he is currently recovering from heart surgery

Paul James speaking at the WARU launch as himself, not as a Councillor, as he is currently recovering from heart surgery

Mr Paul James from Llanbadarn spoke during the launch about his experience of being advised by sports and exercise specialists at IBERS in 2015 when training as one of the Fire Ride team to raise money for charity.

At that time he was unaware of a serious heart condition and has recently undergone major heart surgery and is now recovering and his rehabilitation includes exercising at Aberystwyth University’s Sports Centre.

Paul said “I was pleased to be able to share my story at the launch of WARU yesterday and believe that a unit like this may have helped me to identify my health issues sooner and will be a great asset to Ceredigion, and mid-Wales. “

The Open Day offered a range of free on the day health and well-being assessments and demonstrations including dietary analysis, lung function and body composition, physical activity and physical capability measurement, ‘smart’, digitally-linked technology to reinforce healthy behaviour and the role of exercise in lowering the risk of developing or worsening of chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke and Parkinson’s

The day also featured a series of talks on a wide range of subjects covering strokes, frailty, diabetes and coping with stress for students.

WARU will also be running a series of regular health MOT opportunities, commencing with the over 60s MOT on March 22nd, an event that has been successfully run by IBERS Dr Marco Arkesteijn and David Langford, working with Age Cymru in the Carwyn James building over the last 3 years.

Further Information:


The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is an internationally recognised research and teaching centre providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change. IBERS scientists conduct basic, strategic and applied research from genes and molecules to organisms and the environment.

IBERS receives strategic research funding from the BBSRC to support long term mission driven research, and is a member of the National Institutes of Bioscience. IBERS also benefits from financial support from the Welsh Government, DEFRA and the European Union.

About Aberystwyth University
Established in 1872, Aberystwyth is a leading teaching and research university. In the 2016 National Student Survey, the University was ranked the best in Wales and one of the top ten higher education institutions in the UK for overall student satisfaction. It is one of the top 40 universities in the UK according to the Times Higher Education’s World Rankings 2015-16 and is 35th in the UK for ‘Research Quality’ (Sunday Times University Guide 2015). The University is a community of around 11,000 students and 2,000 staff and is about creating opportunities, research with excellence that makes an impact, teaching that inspires, engaging the world, working in partnership and investing in our future. Registered charity No 1145141.

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