Dr Ross D. Neville PhD

Dr Ross D. Neville

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Research Fellow in the Sociology of Health & Fitness

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercies and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Neville is a Research Fellow who focuses on ‘fitness’ as a critical concept in the development of the modern health landscape. He is particularly interested in the controversial fact that, while we continue to champion its prospects for chronic disease response sixty years after the birth of physical activity epidemiology, the fitness movement has actually developed alongside increases in all of those public health risk factors that it was supposed to militate against.


BA Leisure Management (Distinction) - Dublin Institute of Technology, 2006.
BSc Leisure Management (1st Class) - Dublin Institute of Technology, 2007.
PhD - Dublin Institute of Technology, 2013.


In July 2013, Dr Neville was awarded a prestigious two year position as a Birmingham Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Sociology of Health & Fitness. Since moving to Birmingham in September, he has been working on complementing The School’s existing research on Active Lifestyles. His primary focus in this role is to further establish his status as an independent researcher by conducting research that goes to the very heart of the School’s mission: understanding the relationship between the quantity and quality of engagement in physical activity so as to influence behavioural change and inform lifestyle intervention strategies.

Subsequent to his successful undergraduate studies, Dr Neville was awarded an ABBEST PhD Scholarship to extend his tenure at the DIT and to complete doctoral research into role, development and value of the fitness movement within the modern health landscape. He completed his PhD viva in November 2012, entitled “A Phenomenology of Fitness: From Consumption to Virtuous Production.” The thesis was passed without corrections, and Dr Neville subsequently graduated in February 2013. During his PhD research, Dr Neville also served as a part-time Assistant Lecturer within the DIT’s College of Arts and Tourism (Sept 2008 – Jan 2010), teaching on various modules relating to leisure services and industry studies.

Dr Neville completed his undergraduate studies in Leisure Management at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dublin, Ireland. During that time, he was awarded both the DIT Gold Medal for Academic Excellence (2006) and The Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Group Award (2007) for finishing top of his class and with top honours.

Postgraduate supervision

Browser does not support script.


Modern embodiment and body consciousness; sociology of health and illness; sport and leisure studies; the fitness movement; the relationship between exercise and medicine; the relationship between the quantity and quality of engagement in lifestyle physical activity.


Neville, R.D. (2014). Leisure, and the luxury of expérience, Leisure Sciences, 36(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2014.860768

Neville, R.D. (2013c). The pragmatics of leisure revisited, Leisure Sciences, 35(4), 399-404. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2013.797717

Neville, R.D. (2013b). Considering a complemental model of health and fitness, Sociology of Health & Illness, 35(3), 479-492. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01494.x

Neville, R.D. (2013a). Exercise is medicine: Some cautionary remarks in principle as well as in practice, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 16(3), 615-622. doi: 10.1007/s11019-012-9383-y

Neville, R.D. (2010). ‘False dichotomies, facts and values, and the snares of objectivism: Planning for leisure from an experiential perspective’, in D. Chatziefstatiou & L. Mansfield, (eds.) Leisure Identities and Authenticity (LSA Publication No. 110), Eastbourne: Leisure Studies Association, pp.97-110.

Neville, R.D. (2009). Objectivist problematics: Planning for leisure from an experiential perspective? Paper presented at the Leisure Studies Association Conference, Leisure Experiences: Participating, Planning, Providing, Canterbury Christ Church University, July 7th 2009.

Neville, R.D. (2008). Peculiarities and parameters affecting health and fitness research, in C. Hu, (ed.) Proceedings of the 2008 International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) Conference, Dublin, September 29 – October 2, 2008, St. Clair Shores, MI: International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators, pp.197-211.