Dr Melanie Hayman - physical activity researcher

Published:07 March 2017

Dr Mel Hayman

To celebrate International Women’s Day we get to know some of CQUniversity’s amazing female researchers. Meet DR MELANIE HAYMAN – a physical activity researcher based at CQUni’s Rockhampton North campus who has devised an activity-during-pregnancy intervention project titled Fit4Two.

Q. A 10-year-old asks you what is it that you do – what is your reply? 

A. I help people to follow and fulfil their dreams.

Q. How will your research impact on our communities? 

A. Children born to inactive mothers are twice as likely to suffer from childhood and/or adulthood obesity, which is now recognised as Australia’s biggest health challenge. Thus, my research helps to reduce the risk of obesity in our future generations by being proactive and influencing the physical activity behaviours among pregnant women today.

Q. Where do you foresee your research taking you in the future? 

A. I would love to see the integration of Fit4Two into prenatal routine care. This would ensure that all pregnant women receive personalised, relevant and evidence-based physical activity advice and support in a cost-effective, time-efficient and highly-engaging way.

Q. Do you think being a female in a science-based field is tough?

A. No, well at least not in my experience as a researcher thus far. As a researcher and a female here at CQUniversity, I feel very supported. In saying that, my research is focused on women’s health, where research is predominately undertaken by women. It could be very different in other research fields, I do not know.

Q. Did you always want to do what you do?

A. Both of my parents are teachers, so one might say that it was ‘in my blood’. Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. At the end of high school all I knew was that I loved anything and everything health and fitness, so enrolled in Human Movements (now exercise science) here at CQUni, and it went from there.

Q. What words of wisdom would you share with your 10-year-old self?

A. Enjoy life and all that it has to offer and never be afraid to follow your heart. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked over along the way.