Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham


The Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis was awarded to  Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, under the directorship of  Professor Mark Batt.  Dr Batt retired in June 2020 and is suceeed by Professor James Bilzon.

First established in 2013, the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis is led by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and includes a network of six universities: Bath, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton, Loughborough and Leeds. 

The Centre consists of an established group of world-leading researchers in sport and exercise medicine, orthopaedics, rheumatology, skeletal muscle biology, physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy, epidemiology and physiology. 

The first five years of Centre funding (2013-17) focused primarily on research with elite sports including Olympic athletes, professional footballers, cricketers and rugby players.  The next five years’ research (2018-22) will build upon our research findings, and include recreational athletes and exercisers.  We will continue to further enhance our understanding of the effects of sport, exercise and injury on musculoskeletal health and osteoarthritis (OA).


1.  Can we identify risk factors and phenotypes (‘bodytypes’) that predict the onset and progression of symptomatic OA in athletes and exercisers? (Prevent)

2. What is the effectiveness of conservative interventions for the prevention and management of OA to enable lifelong physical activity? (Care)

3. How can we identify the effects of sport and exercise on the quality of life for those at risk of, or currently living with OA: physical, psychological and social wellbeing? (Transform)

To hear former Director Dr Mark Batt talking about the Centre, view the  YouTube video

Key points

  • Regular exercise is vital for health and to keep joints healthy. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risk of injury.
  • People are being encouraged to do more sport and exercise, yet many are unaware that they could be at risk of developing painful osteoarthritis in later life as the result of sports injury or high volume training.
  • To date, research into the long term consequences of sport and exercise injuries has been virtually non-existent, especially in the UK.
  • More research needs to be done now, so we can find effective injury treatments and advise people on the best preventative measures to keep them active for longer.
  • Find out more about Versus Arthritis

Centre Diagram Nov 2020 

Click on map to enlarge