Ralph is a Professor of Physical Activity and leads NIHI’s physical activity research. He is a behavioural scientist and has a particular interest in delivering and evaluating interventions to improve physical activity and lifestyle interventions for the prevention of disease. His research has a strong technology focus both in terms of interventions and measurement and includes the use of mobile phones, wireless sensors and technologies, as well as mobile and video games. He was a recipient of the prestigious NZ Health Research Council Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship focused on the development and evaluation of mobile health (mHealth) interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention. He is currently PI of an HRC funded Partnership grant to evaluate the implementation of Text4Heart programme to augment self-management in people with heart disease. This is being conducted in collaboration with Auckland and Waitemata DHBs. In addition, this project is supported by a NZ Heart Foundation grant to examine long-term effectiveness outcomes at 1 year post-randomisation.
Ralph also leads an HRC funded study to determine the feasibility of using Professional Rugby Clubs as a platform to engage men in healthy lifestyles. The RuFIT study is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Otago, The Auckland Blues, Otago Highlighlanders and colleagues at the University of Glasgow.