Getting people moving more and sleeping better

Professor Mitch Duncan’s research helps us to understand how our patterns of physical activity and sleep influence our health, and helps people to be more physically active and sleep better using digital technology.

Mitch Duncan is a Professor of Public Health in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Professor Duncan’s research is supported by a prestigious NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.

Early in his career working with the internationally renowned 10,000 Steps project, Mitch realised the importance of physical activity and how digital technology can be used to help improve our behaviour. This opportunity sparked his passion and enthusiasm for a career in research that has seen Mitch publish over 170 papers and secure more than $9 million worth of research funding.

Mitch’s research is reinforces the importance of leading a physically active lifestyle and getting good quality sleep for our physical and mental health. His approach to this is unique by focussing on both behaviours.

“We know that being physically active and getting a good night’s sleep are important for our health, but we typically examine these behaviours separately. My research is unique as it focuses on how the combination of these two behaviours influence our health and wellbeing and designing interventions to get people more active and sleeping better.” Mitch says.

An exciting part this research has been to specifically design an evidence based intervention to help people with these behaviours. “I led the development of a smartphone app to help improve their activity and sleep behaviours, this is important as we know many people need to improve these behaviours but there is a lack of effective interventions that help people to improve both. Our interventions address this.”

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.