Dr Chris Kay, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Chris Kay

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Chris Kay is a Senior Research Fellow working with Carnegie Great Outdoors. He predominantly works with wounded, injured and sick military personnel on a project called Battle Back. This is delivered and researched by our staff on behalf of The Royal British Legion. At The Battle Back Centre, week long courses are delivered that encompass adaptive adventurous training and personal development for military personnel who are recovering from injury or illness. Chris oversees the longevity research which is conducted in line with these courses, gathering information to understand what part these experiences have in facilitating the participant's recovery.

He is a Neurobiologist and holds a PhD in the neurophysiology of pain processing in the spinal cord from The University of Leeds. Alongside his career in scientific research he has worked professionally as a rock climbing, mountaineering, kayaking and mountain biking instructor since 2007.

Chris's research concerns the way in which participating in structured adapted outdoor and adventurous activities helps facilitate recovery, personal growth and aspects of psychological and physiological wellbeing.
In all instances, the adventurous activities are utilised a tool to contextualise teaching that promotes self reliance. It serves to educate participants in order to provide them with strategies and knowledge to help them make a positive approach to their recovery or personal development. This approach has had a huge amount of success within the military population to the extent that Battle Back courses are now a mandated part of the recovery process for all wounded, injured and sick members of the British Army and Royal Air Force.

Leading on from this success Leeds Beckett University and Carnegie Great Outdoors are now working with catastrophic spinal and brain injured rugby players to help them make positive steps in their future...


Research Interests

Working with Carnegie Great Outdoors offers him the unique opportunity to merge his two professional lives together as he has particular interest in the neurological alterations that underpin positive changes in participant’s lives as a result of taking part in adventurous activities and interventions. Chris draws upon his academic knowledge when working in the outdoors as well as on the evaluation and assessment of the recovery programmes. He is working towards utilising aspects of neurological observation outside of a laboratory environment to gain new insight into the way in which our brains react to life changing situations and subsequent recovery.

Dr Chris Kay, Senior Research Fellow

Ask Me About

  1. Pain
  2. Outdoor

Selected Outputs

  • Kay C; Sutton R (2021) Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in Supporting Wounded, Injured and Sick Military Personnel and Veterans. In: Nature and Health: Physical Activity in Nature. New York: Routledge,

  • Rogerson M; Brymer E; Barton J (2021) Nature and Health: Physical Activity in Nature.