BBF congratulates Dr Sonia Cheng for graduating with a PhD at The University of Sydney on 20 April 2021. Dr Cheng was awarded the inaugural BBF scholarship in 2016 which allowed her to undertake several research studies to evaluate physical activity and sedentary behaviour in people with COPD. This work has led to 4 publications and 6 conference presentations. In fact, Dr Cheng won several awards throughout her candidature for the quality of research she conducted including awards from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

The research work that Dr Cheng has conducted will lead to improvements in the quality of life of people with COPD. Her research has demonstrated that people with COPD:

  • have high total sedentary behaviour accumulated mainly in prolonged bouts, and that any increase in light-intensity physical activity may be beneficial;
  • may benefit from engagement in low levels of physical activity, particularly walking and structured exercise;
  • improve purposeful stepping and physical activity levels following a six week behaviour intervention although no improvements were shown to sedentary behaviour outcomes.

BBF will be collaborating with Lung Foundation Australia in 2021 to offer scholarship funding for PhD research on people with chronic lung disease by an allied health professional. Please email Zoe McKeough at if you are interested in supporting the BBF.

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