Michael Thelwell

Dr Michael Thelwell BSc, MSc, PhD

Research Fellow


Dr Michael Thelwell is a Research Fellow in the Physical Activity, Wellbeing and Public Health Research Group within the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Currently working on the Active Together Programme funded by Yorkshire Caner Research. Active Together is an evidence-based physical activity rehabilitation service designed to help people with cancer prepare for and recover from treatment and maintain healthy lifestyles after their cancer diagnosis. My other research interests include the use of 3D surface-imaging and advanced human body measurement techniques to improve the assessment of physical health. Currently working with collaborators at Leipzig University assessing human body shape within health applications (for example, the early detection of diabetes and metabolic syndrome).


I am a Research Fellow in the Physical Activity, Wellbeing and Public Health Research Group works in the areas of 3D surface-imaging and advanced health assessment.

I graduated from Loughborough University in 2014 with a BSc in Sports Technology, during which I completed a year in industry working at PING Golf as an Analysis and Testing Engineer. I then moved to Sheffield Hallam University where I graduated with an MSc with Distinction in Sports Engineering before completing my PhD, titled 'Assessing human morphology using statistical shape analysis'.

My latest work is focused on the design and implementation of an innovative physical activity referral scheme for people affected by cancer called the Active Together Programme. This is an integrated approach to promoting and sustaining recovery in cancer patients through exercise in Sheffield.


Academy of Sport and Physical Activity Health and Wellbeing Sport and Exercise Science


College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences

BSc Sport and Exercise Science
BSc Sport and Exercise Technology
MSc Sports Engineering

Foundations of Human Factors for Sport and Exercise Technology (L4)
Foundations of Measurement for Sport and Exercise (L4)
Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise (L5)
Applied Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise (L6)
Measurement Techniques in Sports Engineering and Biomechanics (L7)


Development of an integrated approach to promoting and sustaining recover in cancer patients through exercise in Sheffield. Investigating relationships between body shape, body composition and associated health risks.

Collaborators and Sponsors 

Yorkshire Cancer Research
Leipzig University



Journal articles

Keen, C., Phillips, G., Thelwell, M., Humphreys, L., Evans, L., & Copeland, R. (2023). Establishing Innovative Complex Services: Learning from the Active Together Cancer Prehabilitation and Rehabilitation Service. Healthcare, 11 (23). http://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11233007

Burton, C., Dawes, H., Goodwill, S., Thelwell, M., & Dalton, C. (2023). Within and between-day variation and associations of symptoms in Long Covid: intensive longitudinal study. PLOS ONE, 18 (1). http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0280343

Bullas, A.M., Greenwood, R., Thelwell, M., & Choppin, S. (2022). A review of commercially available 3D surface imaging systems for body composition estimation. Applied Sciences, 12 (17). http://doi.org/10.3390/app12178815

Choppin, S., Bullas, A., & Thelwell, M. (2022). Torso shape improves the prediction of body fat magnitude and distribution. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (14). http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148302

Thelwell, M., Bullas, A., Kühnapfel, A., Hart, J., Ahnert, P., Wheat, J., ... Choppin, S. (2022). Modelling of human torso shape variation inferred by geometric morphometrics. PLOS ONE, 17 (3). http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0265255

Fowler-Davis, S., Platts, K., Thelwell, M., Woodward, A., & Harrop, D. (2021). A mixed-methods systematic review of postviral fatigue interventions: Are there lessons for long Covid? PLoS ONE, e0259533. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259533

Chiu, C.-.Y., Ciems, R., Thelwell, M., Bullas, A., & Choppin, S. (2021). Estimating Somatotype from a Single-camera 3D Body Scanning System. European Journal of Sport Science. http://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1921041

Choppin, S., Clarkson, S., Bullas, A., Thelwell, M., Heller, B., & Wheat, J. (2020). Anatomical and principal axes are not aligned in the torso: considerations for users of geometric modelling methods. Journal of Biomechanics, 110151. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2020.110151

Thelwell, M., Chiu, C.-.Y., Bullas, A., Hart, J., Wheat, J., & Choppin, S. (2020). How shape-based anthropometry can complement traditional anthropometric techniques: a cross-sectional study. Scientific Reports, 10 (1), 12125. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69099-4

Chiu, C.-.Y., Thelwell, M., Senior, T., Choppin, S., Hart, J., & Wheat, J. (2019). Comparison of depth cameras for three-dimensional reconstruction in medicine. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 233 (9), 938-947. http://doi.org/10.1177/0954411919859922

Conference papers

Bullas, A., Thelwell, M., & Choppin, S. (2022). The future of 3D body scanning within ISAK? A natural home or a conflicting toolset [Abstract only]. International Journal of Kinanthropometry, 2 (S1), 2. http://doi.org/10.34256/ijk22S1

Thelwell, M., BULLAS, A., KUHNAPFEL, A., Hart, J., AHNERT, P., Wheat, J., ... CHOPPIN, S. (2020). Allometry Between Measures of Body Size and Shape in a Large Population-Based Cohort. Proceedings of 3DBODY.TECH 2020 - 11th International Conference and Exhibition on 3D Body Scanning and Processing Technologies, Online/Virtual, 17-18 November 2020. http://doi.org/10.15221/20.10

Chiu, C.Y., Thelwell, M., Goodwill, S., & Dunn, M. (2020). Accuracy of Anthropometric Measurements by a Video-Based 3D Modelling Technique. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43195-2_29

Theses / Dissertations

Thelwell, M. (2021). Assessing human morphology using statistical shape analysis. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Choppin, S., Wheat, J., Hart, J., & Bullas, A. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00369


Sport and physical activity

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