Professor Omid Khaiyat explained the urgent need for further research into muscle health during his Inaugural Professorial lecture.
The Liverpool Hope University musculoskeletal expert revealed that a new way of thinking about muscle activity could improve the health of millions.
He said: “Muscles talk – they produce a sound we can hear through recording. We can listen to them, re-educate them and make them improve their performance to make us healthier.”
Called ‘The underappreciated role of skeletal muscle in health and diseases’, the lecture examined Professor Khaiyat’s research from the last two decades.
“Around 80 million people in the UK, that’s 29% of the population, are affected by musculoskeletal issues," he said.
“By 2035 it’s estimated that 75% of people with a condition will have two at the same time. If someone has diabetes there is a greater risk of them also having a muscular condition.
“It is the same even for people suffering with mental health problems.”
Dr Khaiyat, who is from Iran and moved to the UK to study at the University of Liverpool in 2001, is also an internationally renowned expert on the shoulder.
He joined Liverpool Hope University, where he is acting head and professor of musculoskeletal physiology and health, in 2013.
“Research into muscle health and function has not received the recognition and support it deserves,” he added.
“This inadequate appreciation has in turn, affected millions of people’s quality of life by limiting their functional capacity, productivity, and what they can do in everyday life.
“With the prevalence of such conditions to continue to increase in coming decades due to ageing population, rising levels of obesity and physical inactivity, there is an imperative need for research into muscle health.”
Speaking before Professor Khaiyat’s lecture, pro-vice chancellor and dean of education Revd Canon Professor Kenneth Newport called him: “A distinguished academic and warm-hearted colleague.”
Those sentiments were echoed by University vice chancellor Professor Gerald Pillay who also praised Professor Khaiyat as a colleague and leading academic.
Several of Professor Khaiyat’s former colleagues and mentors from the University of Liverpool attended his lecture along with his wife Nasim, who he thanked along with his parents and daughter Hannah.