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Take part in our study and exercise your way to a healthier vitamin D status

We need volunteers to help us show that exercise can improve vitamin D levels and overall health, and that we don’t need to lose weight to get these benefits.

Improving health and vitamin D status

New evidence indicates that simply taking up regular exercise might maintain vitamin D through the winter months, and this could help prevent vitamin D deficiency.

We're looking for volunteers who are overweight to take part in a study using a 10 week personalised and supervised training programme to understand how exercise might help maintain vitamin D levels throughout the winter months.

Take part in this research

We're recruiting for this study until April 2022.


We are looking for men and women who are above BMI 25, and:

  • aged between 25 and 60 years
  • not engaging in sport or regular exercise
  • non-smoking
  • available for testing between October and March (over the next three years)

What’s involved in the study

The VitaDEx study is the most comprehensive exercise study to date in our Department for Health. This project includes measurements of different aspects of:

  • metabolism
  • body composition (DEXA scans)
  • energy expenditure
  • sleep
  • diet
  • appetite
  • immunity

The project is funded by a grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

This study involves measurements being taken on 12 to 14 occasions over roughly 4 months. You will be randomly assigned to either undertake a 10-week exercise programme, exercising 4 times per week, whilst maintaining your current body weight, or to maintain your current lifestyle habits for 10 weeks.

The participants not asked to exercise in the study will be provided with the same personalised exercise programme after completing the study.

All testing is required to take place in the winter months (October to March).

Please note: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, participants will not be required to attend the university for the study until the social distancing guidance permits safe reopening of the laboratories to research volunteers.


You will receive a report of your data, and a personalised gym-based exercise programme. Everyone who completes the study will receive an inconvenience payment of £250 (Love2shop gift vouchers).


Only the lead researcher, Dr Oliver Perkin and Chief Investigator, Professor Dylan Thompson will have access to the personal information you provide, and all records will be treated as confidential, including personal contact details.

This study has received ethical approval. 1

Image source: UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

Contact us to sign up

If you'd like to sign up or ask questions then you can contact us.

1 This study has been approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC ref: 18/WA/0392).