Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Dr Paul Innerd

Home / About / Academic staff profiles / Sport and Exercise Sciences / Paul Innerd
Expert for press contact

Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

I am a Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Honorary Clinical Researcher (NHS) and Lecturer in Physiology. 

A lack of physical activity is now the fourth biggest cause of major chronic disease and premature death. My research focuses on 1) the accurate measurement of human movement, physical activity and sleep across the lifecourse using wearable sensors 2) the effect of physical activity and sleep on mood, emotional resilience and mental health.

I published the first measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in adults aged over 85 years, the fastest growng age group in the Western world, using advanced wrist worn sensors. Currently, I am developing research programmes aimed at tackling the growing burden of mental health problems using lifestyle related interventions.
My teaching is typically based around human physiology, pathophysiology and physiological measurement.

Overall, I aim to translate high quality research into improved clinical practice, quality of care and evidence for policy.

Teaching and supervision

I teach across physiology and physiological measurement based modules and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation students, and doctoral students.

Research interests for potential research students

I can offer projects relating to the effects of physical activity, sleep and circadian rhythm on health.  The research I carry out with students at all levels is aimed at eventual publication.


Leading an inactive lifestyle is the fourth biggest cause of poor health (behind smoking, excess alcohol and bad diet).

Lifestyle factors such as being physically active and getting good quality sleep are associated with reduced stress, anxiety and depression. Therefore, my current work aims to investigate the mechanisms by which physical activity and sleep improve mental health and develop interventions to improve physical activity, sleep and other lifestyle factors to combat stress, anxiety and depression.

For this and future work, I am working with clinicians at Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and researchers at University of Sunderland, Newcastle University, Oxford University and Cambridge University. Overall, this work will improve our understanding of the therapeutic effects of physical activity and sleep on mental health.


  • Human physiology
  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Sleep
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Measurement
  • Physical activity monitoring using wearable technology

I have collaborative links with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland Royal Hospital Research and Innovation and Sunderland City Council as well as several industry partners.

My other academic interests include the development of innovations in the NHS to assist healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care for patients. I have a number of colleagues across higher education institutions, NHS trusts and in the private sector.

Last updated 07 May 2021