Staff profile

Professor David Sheffield


Professor of Psychology




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Psychology, University of Derby Online Learning

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Professor of Psychology based in the School of Psychology. My work often focuses on health, well-being, and performance from a range of perspectives from epidemiology and interventions to psychophysiology and interviews. I supervise PhD and Doctorate students, and Masters and undergraduate students. I teach on the MSc Health Psychology, Behaviour Change and Psychology programmes, and the BSc Psychology.

Teaching responsibilities

Professional interests

I am a Registered Health Psychologist and have trained many students to be Health Psychologists (stage 1 and stage 2 training). I have supervised more than 30 students to successful PhD and Doctorate completions.

Research interests

I'm currently involved in 3 funded projects that focus on Choirs and Mental Health (ESRC), Increasing Social Prescribing 4 All (AHRC), and Connecting Trees and People for Well-being (NERC).

My board interests include:

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications

Research qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Research posts

International experience

I worked in the USA for 6 years before returning to the UK in 2001. I have collaborators in Europe, USA, Japan, Korea and Africa.

In the media

Interviews with the Guardian and Daily Mail newspapers, and Radio Derby.

Recent publications

  • Sheffield, D., Butler, C. W., & Richardson, M. (2022). Improving Nature Connectedness in Adults: A Meta-Analysis, Review and agenda. Sustainability, 14(19), 12494
  • Sheffield, D., & Irons, J. Y. (2021). Songs for health education and promotion: a systematic review with recommendations. Public Health, 198, 280-289
  • Sheffield, D., Thornton, C., & Jones, M. V. (2020). Pain and athletes: Contact sport participation and performance in pain. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 49, 101700
  • Kotera, Y., Richardson, M., & Sheffield, D. (2022). Effects of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and nature therapy on mental health: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 20(1), 337-361
  • Choe, E. Y., Jorgensen, A., & Sheffield, D. (2021). Examining the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in simulated and actual natural environments: Secondary data analysis. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 66, 127414
  • Keenan, R., Lumber, R., Richardson, M., & Sheffield, D. (2021). Three good things in nature: a nature-based positive psychological intervention to improve mood and well-being for depression and anxiety. Journal of Public Mental Health
  • Chircop, J., Sheffield, D., & Kotera, Y. (2021). Systematic Review of Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes. Nursing research, 70(6), 487-497
  • Cross, A., Naughton, F., & Sheffield, D. (2021). What is the role of stress cardiovascular reactivity in health behaviour change? A systematic review, meta-analysis and research agenda. Psychology & Health, 36(9), 1021-1040
  • Hearn, J. H., Finlay, K. A., & Sheffield, D. (2021). ‘Trying to bring attention to your body when you’re not sure where it is’: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of drivers and barriers to mindfulness for people with spinal cord injury. British Journal of Health Psychology, 26(1), 161-178
  • Irons, J. Y., Garip, G., Cross, A. J., Sheffield, D., & Bird, J. (2020). An integrative systematic review of creative arts interventions for older informal caregivers of people with neurological conditions. PloS one, 15(12), e0243461
  • Pritchard, A., Richardson, M., Sheffield, D., & McEwan, K. (2020). The relationship between nature connectedness and eudaimonic well-being: A meta-analysis. Journal of Happiness Studies, 21(3), 1145-1167
  • Choe, E. Y., Jorgensen, A., & Sheffield, D. (2020). Does a natural environment enhance the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)? Examining the mental health and wellbeing, and nature connectedness benefits. Landscape and Urban Planning, 202, 103886
  • Safari, R., Jackson, J., & Sheffield, D. (2020). Digital self-management interventions for people with osteoarthritis: systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(7), e15365
  • Meijen, C., Turner, M., Jones, M. V., Sheffield, D., & McCarthy, P. (2020). A theory of challenge and threat states in athletes: A revised conceptualization. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 126
  • Cameron, R. W., Brindley, P., Mears, M., McEwan, K., Ferguson, F., Sheffield, D., ... & Richardson, M. (2020). Where the wild things are! Do urban green spaces with greater avian biodiversity promote more positive emotions in humans?. Urban ecosystems, 23(2), 301-317
  • McEwan, K., Richardson, M., Brindley, P., Sheffield, D., Tait, C., Johnson, S., ... & Ferguson, F. J. (2020). Shmapped: development of an app to record and promote the well-being benefits of noticing urban nature. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 10(3), 723-733
  • Clarke, P., Sheffield, D., & Akehurst, S. (2020). Personality predictors of yips and choking susceptibility. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 2784
  • Maratos, F. A., & Sheffield, D. (2020). Brief compassion-focused imagery dampens physiological pain responses. Mindfulness, 11, 2730-2740
  • Batashvili, M., Staples, P., Baker, I. S., & Sheffield, D. (2020). The neurophysiological relationship between number anxiety and the EEG gamma-band. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 32(5-6), 580-585
  • Irons, J. Y., Hancox, G., Vella-Burrows, T., Han, E. Y., Chong, H. J., Sheffield, D., & Stewart, D. E. (2021). Group singing improves quality of life for people with Parkinson’s: an international study. Aging & mental health, 25(4), 650-656
  • McEwan, K., Richardson, M., Sheffield, D., Ferguson, F. J., & Brindley, P. (2019). A smartphone app for improving mental health through connecting with urban nature. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(18), 3373
  • Dunne, S., Sheffield, D., & Chilcot, J. (2018). Self-compassion, physical health and the mediating role of health-promoting behaviours. Journal of health psychology, 23(7), 993-999
  • Lumber, R., Richardson, M., & Sheffield, D. (2017). Beyond knowing nature: Contact, emotion, compassion, meaning, and beauty are pathways to nature connection. PLoS one, 12(5), e0177186