The Movement Science Group at Oxford Brookes University announced plans to work with Indian Ocean Row 18.

The Movement Science Group explores factors affecting optimal human performance in health and disease. They want to investigate how people cope with the prolonged physical and mental stresses of ocean rowing.

Professor Helen Dawes

Group Leader, Movement Science Group, Oxford Brookes University

Anyone involved in sport will know that motor skills and fitness improve with practice and that your movement is affected when you are tired. We will monitor Robin’s motor skill changes, alongside physiological and emotional responses.  It’s an important piece of research that will help us better understand how the metabolic, cardiovascular and neuro-muscular systems cope and adapt to prolonged endurance activity.

We are beginning to understand more about how Parkinson’s effects metabolic pathways. Robin taking on this challenge is a unique opportunity to observe the effects of extreme endurance exercise – it has the potential to provide some important insights that may help to redefine how Parkinson’s is viewed and ultimately treated through new drug therapies and neuro-rehabilitation programmes. We’re hoping the findings will send the search for therapies and a cure in a new direction.

Professor Helen Dawes

Dr Shelly Coe

Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University

Many lifestyle factors including physical activity and diet can influence the symptom severity and overall quality of life of those with Parkinson’s. However, little research is out there on the best dietary approaches for well-being in Parkinson’s.

The Movement Science Group at Oxford Brookes has looked at physical activity and nutrition to improve quality of life in those with Parkinson’s. We will assess diet at baseline before and during the row using what is called a ‘food diary’. This will give an indication of the diet in both men before the row and over the two-month rowing period to see how this changes with continuous exercise. We will also collect data on wellness and symptoms pre-and during the row to see how these are affected by the challenge.

This will be a ‘case study’ looking at how nutritional intake can influence disease related changes that take place during long periods of rowing.  We will also advise on the food choices taken on the row to ensure proper nutrition is available during the two-month period.

Dr Shelly Coe


…then we can do the rest.