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13 February 2019

Exercise and polycystic ovary syndrome

Amie Woodward studies the impact of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk in polycystic ovary syndrome. She is a PhD student at the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science.

Sheffield Hallam PhD student Amie Woodward

‘Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects one in five women worldwide and is the leading cause of infertility or difficulty conceiving,' she says.

'Women with PCOS are also at a higher risk for developing heart disease and diabetes. Most women with the condition deal with anxiety and depression, because of a lack of understanding and treatment options.

‘I’m planning to conduct exercise trials for women with the condition, which will give us an insight into how exercise can reduce their cardiovascular disease risk. Additionally, exercise could improve their mood, increase their confidence and develop their physical fitness.

‘I feel that my research could be a great thing for a condition that affects such a large proportion of women but is still relatively unknown in detail.

‘Working on my PhD at Hallam is great. It's a really supportive environment and I feel comfortable asking my peers any questions that pop into my head.

‘My advice to anyone considering a PhD is to split your work into small chunks. A technique that works for me is the one hour workday. Eliminate distractions like your phone and make sure you focus on your tasks for at least one hour a day. What usually happens is you get into a flow of work and continue after the hour.

‘Finally, make some PhD friends. Surround yourself with people who understand your project and why you are doing it. It’s so worthwhile.’

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