Woman Researchers A1 portait posters_web_ALL - Page 10

‘You do not have to be in perfect health to safely perform physical exercise.’ Dr PELLY KOUFAKI POST DOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW, PHYSIOTHERAPY I am Dr Pelagia Koufaki and I am research trained (PhD) as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist. My ultimate aim is to develop and evaluate approaches that people are more likely to implement in their daily lives either in clinical or community based settings. Exercise during renal dialysis, is an example of effective implementation of a therapeutic treatment, that brings about multiple health benefits for people who need them the most. I was trained to become a PE teacher or a sports coach. However, as a 3rd year student, I attended a week-long seminar on Cardiac Rehabilitation, which although not a novel idea, was not a widely recommended/known practice. When I grew up, a common piece of doctor’s advice for people with health conditions was to “rest”, “slow down” or “take it easy” and I was therefore inspired by the clinical application of the idea, that you do not have to be in perfect health to safely perform physical exercise. That was the beginning of my interest in health enhancing exercise applications and has been sustained by interacting with the actual people who need it the most. E R A T I N G O L B For the last 15 years I have been conducting clinical research focusing on the effectiveness of exercise and physical activity interventions as therapeutic modalities for optimizing functional independence and reducing cardiovascular health risks in people with long term cardiometabolic conditions such as kidney and cardiac disease. WOMEN RESEARCHERS INSPIRING RESEARCH CAREER JOURNEYS