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Associate Professor Mitch Duncan

Associate Professor Mitch Duncan

Associate Professor Mitch Duncan is a HMRI and University of Newcastle researcher. Mitch'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.
View Mitch's research outputs on his University of Newcastle profile >



Associate Professor Mitch Duncan is National Heart Foundation Future Leaders Fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Centre for Active Living and Learning at the University of Newcastle.

His Fellowship research, funded by the National Heart Foundation of Australia, is focused on understanding how physical activity and sleep combine to impact health and the development and evaluation of technology-based interventions to improve these behaviours.

Associate Professor Duncan has published over 95 manuscripts and has supervised 6 PhD and 2 Masters students to completion. The quality of his research has been recognised by numerous awards including Queensland Young Tall Poppy Award and National Heart Foundation Queensland Researcher of the Year (2013).

Over the course of his career Associate Professor Duncan has secured over $5 million in competitive grant funding including grants from the National Heart Foundation of Australia, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, Queensland Government, Safework SA, and New Zealand National Heart Foundation.


Research Interests

My research interests focus on improving understanding of how physical activity and sleep jointly impact health and how we can use technology to deliver interventions to people to improve these behaviours.

A lot of my intervention research uses websites, ‘apps’, activity trackers and combinations of these to help people to improve their activity and sleep behaviours and improve their health.


Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Chronic disease prevention
  • Technology based interventions
  • Intervention studies


Why did you get into research?

My passion for research comes from my early experience as a research assistant and doing volunteer work on research projects. I got to see the real impact of the work we were doing and I still get a kick out of it when people tell us that they feel happier and healthier when taking part.

I’m also curious about why and how lifestyle behaviours impact health and why the intervention worked so we can continue to make them better help people. This is really exciting with technology-based interventions as we can reach so many people.
What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

For me, it is about finding simple yet effective ways that people can engage in more physical activity and get better quality sleep. If this happens we, as a community, can become healthier.