Children often misread fear in dogs – making a bite more likely

Dr Sarah Rose, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University, writes for The Conversation

The benefits of growing up with a pet are well documented – these days dogs are even used in the classroom. That said, we sometimes forget that dogs can still present a risk.

Children under the age of 10 are most at risk of being bitten by a dog. It’s difficult to accurately estimate how often children are bitten, as not all bites result in children being taken to accident and emergency units, but bites can often lead to serious injuries with unpleasant psychological effects, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Children may be at greater risk of being bitten by a dog because they struggle to recognise emotions in dogs and can’t interpret their warning behaviour. Many children may know little about how to behave safely around dogs and risk bites more often than adults.

The fear factor

New research could prove key to preventing bites. More than 100 children between the ages of four and six were shown images and video clips of dogs showing happy, frightened and angry behaviour. Children were asked what emotion they thought the dog was feeling and would they “pat, play, cuddle, brush or sit next to each dog?”

Although most of the children said they wouldn’t approach an angry dog, they were as likely to say that they would approach a frightened dog as they would a happy one. This desire to approach frightened dogs and cuddle them could explain why children are at a high risk of being bitten.

Read the full article on The Conversation


Screen time for children: the WHO’s extreme new approach may do little to curb obesity

Dr Sarah Rose, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University, writes for The Conversation

Get children more active. That’s the aim of the World Health Organisation’s new guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under five years of age. The guidelines make specific recommendations about the amount of sleep, physical activity and screen time children should have each day.

For screen time, the guidelines state that children under two years old should get no screen time and children aged two to five should get no more than an hour a day.

While childhood obesity is a global crisiscuts lives short and has significant economic costs the WHO guidelines on screen time are oversimplified. Continue reading

Why some people can’t stop running, according to sport psychology

Dr Andrew Wood and Dr Martin Turner, lecturers at Staffordshire University, write for The Conversation

Alex has a problem with running; he has become addicted to it. “I have to get out and run, whether my family like it or not,” he says. “It’s just who I am.”

Running three times a week has become ten times a week, and when life gets in the way of his running, Alex becomes irritable and racked with guilt. He has gone from what was a healthy pursuit, to an unhealthy overindulgence. His body is shot to pieces and is mentally and physically exhausted. But still, he keeps running.

The physical and mental benefits of running are indisputable. But runners can have too much of a good thing. This is especially true for long-distance runners as they tend to increase their training loads and become increasingly competitive. They’re at risk of making a shift from healthy perseverance (“I want to run”) to unhealthy and pressured overindulgence (“I have to run”).

Continue reading

Introducing Jonathan Disley our new Academic Practice Learning Manager

Hello all! I am really excited to have joined the team in the School of Life Sciences and Education.

As Academic Practice Learning Manager my role is all about our graduates’ employability skills. I am working with local, regional and national employers to support the development of work-experience placements for our students.We know from feedback and academic performance that our students value work placements and what they offer in terms of employability skills and opening up opportunities. Many have said their work placement has set them up on successful and previously undiscovered career pathways. Continue reading


Welcome to our blog and our opportunity to share with you our knowledge of life sciences and education.  Here you will find out about our events, our students and staff, as well as everything that excites us, and hopefully you, about the world.

In the School of Life Sciences and Education we work together with key external partners to deliver flexible and applied courses in psychology, sport & exercise, biological and biomedical sciences, and education.  Our students experience exciting, interactive and digitally supported learning environments.  We focus on applying research and learning to real work settings, and working with employers and industry partners to provide our students with employability skills and networks and to contribute to our communities.

Our staff are conducting international research and our staff and students are making a real difference in our regional communities. This blog is all about sharing the news and stories of our students, staff and partners, the connections we are making and the impact of our School.  This blog is about connecting to you, so please take the opportunity to interact with us through: