Catherine Draper



Catherine has a background in Psychology and the social sciences, and obtained her PhD in Public Health in 2005. Her research interests include the development and evaluation of community-based physical activity interventions for children, using a mixed methods approach. Catherine is particularly interested in the preschool age group, and her current research is investigating the relationship between physical activity and cognitive development in early childhood in low-income urban and rural settings in South Africa. More recently, this research has included screen time and sleep in this age group. This research is informing the development of home- and preschool-based intervention strategies to promote health and broader development outcomes in young children.

Catherine has led the initiative to develop South African 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years (released December 2018), and is a member of the WHO Guideline Development Group for guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in children under 5 years of age, and an international observer for the Under 5’s Expert Working Group for the UK physical activity guidelines. She is the President of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health, and is a Fellow of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.