Scott Burton – Health Improvement Officer

How did you get involved with this role?

I feel really lucky to be involved in health improvement and have a role for improving physical activity in Forth Valley. I am passionate about the benefits of physical activity and the role it plays in prevention, early intervention and making people feel better. I did a BSc in Sport, Physical Activity & Health and am now doing an MSc in Public Health. I previously managed a physical activity referral programme and have managed many physical activity programmes which aim to change people’s behaviours so when this role was created it was a natural fit for me.

Describe a typical day?

I do a lot of training with health professionals and how they can improve their conversations with patients and advocate for physical activity. I’ll meet with various health professionals and support them with any training needs for their staff. I am involved in some physical activity pilots to help reduce waiting lists, so I’ll usually meet with the people involved to make sure the pilots are going well and get up to date data. I’ll also conduct focus groups of participants involved in the programmes I chair.

What do you find most interesting about your job?

I love hearing about the different impact physical activity has on people and how it changes their life. For example, someone told me. “I couldn’t even push the duvet off me in the morning. The past week I have started walking up the stairs normally as I used to crawl up them. I have come to this class for 8 weeks and I can see a difference.”

What’s your best quality?

I speak with passion.

The biggest hurdle you have had to overcome?

The biggest hurdle is convincing partners and colleagues to advocate for physical activity, trust in the long term investment and help them see it does align with their role.

Earliest memory?

Pretending to be ill at nursery so I could go to my gran’s house for cake and to watch TV!

Possessions you treasure the most

My journals from travelling to Australia and Europe.

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“You have two ears and one mouth so use them in that order!”

Spender or saver?

I’d love to spend if I could save!

What scares you most in life?

Being unable to perform everyday activities due to ill health.

Traveller or home bird?


Secret ambition?

To win a half marathon!