Ayaz Safi is currently a Lecturer and the Co-Course Leader for MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition at the University of Westminster. He has a strong background in theoretical and practical teaching and research applications with industry experience in education, public health, sports coaching, personal businesses and an exceptional national and international media profile. Ayaz has extensively taught in Higher Education with substantial teaching and managing experience in the Primary, Secondary and Further Education sectors. Before joining the University of Westminster, Ayaz was an assistant lecturer whilst also completing his PhD at Birmingham City University. Before that, he was head of the Physical Education Department in a high school and sixth form college. Ayaz was also a director of Safi's Sport and Fitness, focused on promoting physical activity, nutrition and health of BAME communities. Ayaz also worked with 'Workers Educational Association (Tandursti). He designed curriculum and tailored exercise, nutrition and behaviour change plans to individuals with underlying physiological and psychological health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, angina, anxiety and depression. Ayaz continues to collaborate and consult with international institutions and organisations in several areas ranging from public health and sport.
Ayaz believes that people don’t merely learn by sitting and listening as they are influenced to learn in different ways. Ayaz’s teaching is student-centred and informed by the world-leading research and professional practices within-subjects and beyond in the context of social constructivism, blooms taxonomy and pedagogy. Ayaz is currently leading and teaching in various modules and supervising BSs and MSc students projects.
Current teaching and leadership positions include:
- Co-Course Leader for MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition
- Module Leader for Level 7 Practitioner Skills for Sports Nutrition
- Module Leader For Level 6 Psychology Of Physical Activity and Sport
- Module Leader For Level 5 Physiology For Sport, Health and Exercise
Ayaz also contrives to teach and supervising student enrichment projects across levels 4 to 7.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
- The British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES)
- Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
Ayaz's research interests include exercise psychology, exercise physiology; physical activity/exercise; nutrition; health and Wellbeing; behaviour change; sports and physical education, and an appreciation of the applications to the broader public health field. He is interested in teaching and researching while maintaining his interest in public engagement.
Ayaz is actively engaged in research and academic collaborations both nationally and internationally, which broadens a range of research interests:
- A comparison of two widely-used physical activity monitoring methods, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and ActiGraph WGT3X-BT, determine the physical activity rates of University employees.
- University employees' fundamental reasons explain the challenges and barriers they are facing for not engaging in physical activity. A qualitative study.
- The impact of providing ergometers (Exercise bikes and rowing machines) in staff offices in the workplace.
- The impact of team-based 10,000 step challenge in the workplace.
- The impact of health promotion signs placed near stairs and lifts in the workplace.
- The impact of providing height-adjustable workstations to employees in the workplace.
- The impact of standing/walking meetings on employees mood status in the workplace.
- Diabetes in Afghanistan. The book is in the final stage of writing and will be published in Afghanistan.
- Perceptions of physical activity and its relationship to the teachings of Islam in the UK Muslim population qualitative study.
- Investigate the differences between mortality rates during birth in government hospitals versus private hospitals in Afghanistan. Currently in the data collection stage.
- The perception of unskilled birth attendant in Afghanistan. Currently in the data collection stage.
This research aims to develop themes and best practices for improving employees' health and Wellbeing and change their behaviour for leading an active, healthy lifestyle. This research also supports the bigger picture of industrial, societal, cultural, governmental and religious impact. As such, Ayaz is open to collaborating with organisations and industry partners in future endeavours. Therefore, enquiries are welcome.
Ayaz's research contribution was recognised in May 2019 by Birmingham City University. It was awarded as a 'Researcher of the Year 2018/19 Extra Mile Awards as a ‘recognition of his excellent research contribution'.
Ayaz presented one of his PhD research interventions at the British Psychological Society (BPS) annual conference. He was awarded as the overall first-place winner of the BPS DSEP annual conference on the 3rd of December 2019.
These are hugely competitive, and hence it is a testament to the quality of his research contributions to wider society.
Areas of expertise
- Physical activity, nutrition, health, Wellbeing and behaviour change
- Sports and exercise science
- Sports and exercise psychology
- Physical education
- Public health Sports
- Applying qualitative and quantitative data approaches
- Utilising mixed-method approach and analysis
- Competent in analysis using SPSS
- Awareness of ethical research guidelines