Prof Christopher J Gidlow

Job Title and Responsibilities

Professor of Applied Health Research,
Academic Director for the Centre for Health and Development
My primary responsibility is to secure funding for, and to undertake, applied health research and evaluation.


About Me

Following an undergraduate in Applied Biology (University of Newcastle upon Tyne), I completed an MSc at in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Public Health (University of Bristol). After one year as Research Associate within Clinical Sciences at the University of Nottingham, I completed my doctoral research on socio-demographic bias in exercise referral in July 2006 (Sheffield Hallam University). I have since worked at Staffordshire University, collaborating and leading on a range of applied health projects, particularly relating to physical activity, environmental determinants of health and activity, and primary care-based health/physical activity promotion, in addition to post-graduate teaching and supervision, and other management/administrative responsibilities.


BSc (hons) -  Applied Biology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

MSc -   Physical Activity, Nutrition and Public Health, University of Bristol

PhD -   Physical activity referral schemes: socio-demographic patterning of exposure, uptake and attendance, Sheffield Hallam University

Research Interests

My research is multi-disciplinary and applied, specialising in two main areas: natural environments and health, and health and physical activity promotion through primary care, including NHS Health Checks and exercise referral.

Researchgate profile

Google scholar



Selected Publications (since 2014)

  • Riley, V., Gidlow, C., and Ellis, N. Understanding Implementation and Uptake in the NHS Health Check Programme. Public Health (in press).  
  • Gidlow CJ, van Kempen E, Smith GR, Triguero-Mas M, Kruize H, Gražulevičienė R, et al. Development of the Natural Environment Scoring Tool (NEST). Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2018, 29, p.322-333.
  • Triguero-Mas, Margarita, Donaire-Gonzalez, David, Seto, Edmund, Valentín, Antònia, Smith, Graham, Martínez, David, Carrasco-Turigas, Glòria, Masterson, Daniel, van den Berg, Magdalena, Ambròs, Albert , Martínez-Íñiguez, Tania, Dedele, Audrius, Hurst, Gemma, Ellis, Naomi, Grazulevicius, Tomas, Voorsmit, Martin, Cirach, Marta , Cirac-Claveras, Judith, Swart, Wim, Clasquin, Eddy, Maas, Jolanda, Wendel-Vos, Wanda, Jerrett, Michael, Gražulevičienė, Regina, Kruize, Hanneke, Gidlow, Christopher J, Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J. Living Close to Natural Outdoor Environments in Four European Cities: Adults’ Contact with the Environments and Physical Activity. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14.
  •  Triguero-Mas M, Donaire-Gonzalez D, Seto E, Valentín A, Martínez D, Smith G, Hurst, Gemma Carrasco-Turigas, Glòria Masterson, Daniel, van den Berg, Magdalena, Ambròs, Albert, Martínez-Íñiguez, Tania ,Dedele, Audrius, Ellis, Naomi, Grazulevicius, Tomas, Voorsmit, Martin, Cirach, Marta, Cirac-Claveras, Judith, Swart, Wim, Clasquin, Eddy, Ruijsbroek, Annemarie, Maas, Jolanda, Jerret, Michael, Gražulevičienė, Regina, Kruize, Hanneke, Gidlow, Christopher J, Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J. Natural outdoor environments and mental health: Stress as a possible mechanism. Environ Res. 2017;159:629–38.
  • Schipperijn, J., Cerin, E., Adams, M. A., Reis, R., Smith, G., Cain, K., Christiansen, Lars B, van Dyck, Delfien, Gidlow, Christopher, Frank, Lawrence D, Mitáš, Josef, Pratt, Michael, Salvo, Deborah, Schofield, Grant,  Sallis, James F. (2017). Access to parks and physical activity: An eight country comparison. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 27(Supplement C), 253–263.  
  • Ruijsbroek A, Droomers M, Kruize H, van Kempen E, Gidlow CJ, Hurst G, Andrusaityte S, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Maas J, Hardyns W, Stronks K, Groenewegen PP: Does the Health Impact of Exposure to Neighbourhood Green Space Differ between Population Groups? An Explorative Study in Four European Cities. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017, 14.
  • Smith G, Cirach M, Swart W, Dėdelė A, Gidlow C, van Kempen E, Kruize H, Gražulevičienė R, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ: Characterisation of the natural environment: quantitative indicators across Europe. Int J Health Geogr 2017, 16:16.
  • Ruijsbroek A, Mohnen SM, Droomers M, Kruize H, Gidlow C, Gražulevičiene R, Andrusaityte S, Maas J, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Triguero-Mas M, Masterson D, Ellis N, van Kempen E, Hardyns W, Stronks K, Groenewegen PP: Neighbourhood green space, social environment and mental health: an examination in four European cities. Int J Public Health 2017:1–11.
  • Zijlema WL, Triguero-Mas M, Smith G, Cirach M, Martinez D, Dadvand P, Gascon M, Jones M, Gidlow C, Hurst G, Masterson D, Ellis N, van den Berg M, Maas J, van Kamp I, van den Hazel P, Kruize H, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Julvez. The relationship between natural outdoor environments and cognitive functioning and its mediators. Environ Res. 2017, 27;155:268-275.
  • Triguero-Mas M, Gidlow CJ, Martínez D, de Bont J, Carrasco-Turigas G, Martínez-Íñiguez T, et al. The effect of randomised exposure to different types of natural outdoor environments compared to exposure to an urban environment on people with indications of psychological distress in Catalonia. PLoS One; 2017, 1;12(3):e0172200.
  • Gidlow, C.J., Smith, G., Martinez, D., Wilson, R., Trinder, P., Gražulevičienė, R. and Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J. Research note: Natural environments and prescribing in England. Landscape and Urban Planning. 2016.doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.02.002
  • Gidlow, C.J., Randall, J., Gillman, J., Smith, G.R. and Jones, M.V. Natural environments and chronic stress measured by hair cortisol. Landscape and Urban Planning, 2016, 148, pp.61-67.
  • van den Berg, M., van Poppel, M., van Kamp, I., Andrusaityte, S., Balseviciene, B., Cirach, M., Danileviciute, A., Ellis, N., Hurst, G., Masterson, D. and Smith, G., Triguero-Mas M , Uzdanaviciute I , Wit Pd , Mechelen Wv , Gidlow C , Grazuleviciene R , Nieuwenhuijsen MJ , Kruize H , Maas J.. Visiting green space is associated with mental health and vitality: A cross-sectional study in four European cities. Health & Place. 2016, 38:8-15.
  • Gidlow, C.J., Jones, M. V., Hurst, G., Masterson, D., Clark-Carter, D., Tarvainen, M. P., Smith, G. & Nieuwenhuijsen, M. Where to put your best foot forward: Psycho-physiological responses to walking in natural and urban environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2015, 45:22-29. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.11.003 
  • Gidlow, C. J., Randall, J., Gillman, J., Silk, S., & Jones, M. V. Gidlow, C. J., Randall, J., Gillman, J., Silk, S., & Jones, M. V. Hair cortisol and self-reported stress in healthy, working adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015, 63:163-169.
  • McEachan, R, Prady, S.L., Smith, G., Fairley, L., Cabieses, B., Gidlow, C., Wright, J., Dadvand, P., van Gent, D., Nieuwenhuijsen, MJ. The association between green space and depressive symptoms in pregnant women: moderating roles of socio-economic status and physical activity. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech-2015-205954; jech-2015.
  • Ellis NJ, Gidlow CJ, Cowap L, Randall J, Iqbal Z, Kumar J. A qualitative investigation of non-response in NHS Health Checks. BMC Archives of Public Health 2015, 73(1):14.
  • Gidlow C, Ellis N, Randall J, Cowap L, Smith G, Iqbal Z, and Kumar J.  Method of invitation and geographical proximity as predictors of NHS Health Check uptake. Journal of Public Health 2015, 37(2):195-201.
  • Grazuleviciene, R., Vencloviene, J., Kubilius, R., Grizas, V., Dedele, A., Grazulevicius, T., Ceponiene, I., Tamuleviciute-Prasciene, E., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J., Jones, M. and Gidlow, C. The Effect of Park and Urban Environments on Coronary Artery Disease Patients: A Randomized Trial. BioMed Research International, 2015, 403012, 9, 2015.
  • Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Kruize H, Gidlow C, et al. Positive health effects of the natural outdoor environment in typical populations in different regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE): a study programme protocol. BMJ Open. April 1, 2014 2014;4(4).
  • Gidlow CJ, Ellis NJ. Opportunistic community-based health checks. Public Health. 2014;128(6):582-584.
  • Dadvand, P., Wright, J., Martinez, D., Basagaña, X., McEachan, R.R., Cirach, M., Gidlow, C.J., de Hoogh, K., Gražulevičienė, R. and Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J . Inequality, green spaces, and pregnant women: roles of ethnicity and individual and neighbourhood socioeconomic status. Environment international 2014, 71:101-108.
  • Gidlow CJ, Cochrane T, Davey R, et al. One-year cardiovascular risk and quality of life changes in participants of a health trainer service. Perspectives in Public Health. 2014, 134(3):135-144.
  • Cochrane T, Davey R, Gidlow C, et al. Contribution of Individual Risk Factor Changes to Reductions in Population Absolute Cardiovascular Risk. BioMed Research International. 2014, 2014:6.

Books / Book Chapters

  • Scott, A and Gidlow, C (2016). Clinical Exercise Science. New York: Routledge.
  • Lahart, I, O’Sullivan, N, Warrington, G. and Gidlow, C. (forthcoming). Known Knowns: Review of the Evidence. In: Physical Activity in Natural Settings: Green Exercise and Blue Mind (Eds) MacIntyre and Donnelly. New Work: Routledge.
  • Niewenhuijsen, M., Gidlow, C. and van den Bosch, M. (forthcoming). Nature Based Solutions: A Look Ahead. In: Physical Activity in Natural Settings: Green Exercise and Blue Mind (Eds) MacIntyre and Donnelly. New Work: Routledge.
  • Owens, C., Crone, D., Gidlow, C. and James, D (2017). Observational (cross-sectional and longitudinal) studies. In: Research Methods in Physical Activity and Health (Eds) Bird and Hawley. New York: Routledge.
  • Gidlow, C., Crone, D and Huws-Thomas, M (2016). Physical Activity Promotion in Primary Health Care and the Community. In: Clinical Exercise Science (Eds) Scott, A and Gidlow C. New York: Routledge.
  • Gidlow, C. and Murphy, R. (2009) Physical activity interventions in primary health care. In: Physical Activity and Health Promotion (Eds) Dugdill, L., Crone, D. and Murphy, R. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Research project (last 5 years)

  • Qualitative video-stimulated recall study to explore cardiovascular disease risk communication in NHS Health checks using QRISK2 10-year risk and JBS3 lifetime risk calculators (£397,536): NIHR Health Technology Assessment, 2017-2019 (PI)
  • Evaluation of Stoke-on-Trent European City of Sport: Stoke-on-Trent City Council (£61,000), 2016-2019 (PI)
  • Behavioral analysis of group-based weight management programmes: Public Health England (£24,995), 2016 (PI)
  • Walkability, natural environment and clinical risk factors (collaboration with UHNM): £11,000, 2016-2017 (Co-Applicant)
  • Development and testing of Hair Cortisol Concentration (HCC) analysis: HEIF (£25,641), 2016 (PI)
  • RCT of uptake in NHS Health Checks for CVD risk: Public Health England, Stoke-on-Trent city Council , Staffordshire County Council (£74,000), 2015-2017 (PI)
  • Text4 Change: feasibility study of text messages to promote weight loss (£12,888) (PI)
  • Evaluation of NHS Health Checks: evaluation of uptake/non-response and treatment of high risk patients in NHS Health Checks in Stoke-on-Trent (£18,000), 2013-2014 (PI)
  • Construct validity of hair cortisol as a marker of chronic stress: British Academy Small Grant (£9,629), 2012-2014 (PI)
  • Positive Health Effects of the Natural Outdoor Environment in Typical Populations in Different Regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE), Jan 2012-Dec 2015: European Commission’s Framework 7-funded 2012-2016 (€3.5 million total; £676,000 for UK work). UK PI for four-year, multi-centre European project with nine partners to explore links between the natural environment and health using a range of epidemiological and novel experimental methods.
  • Healthy Urban Planning joint post with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, 2014-2017 (Line Manager/Lead) y
  • My Community Matters (MCM): evaluation of community development programme (£21,000), 2013-2016 (PI)

Current Teaching


  • MSc in Physical Activity and Public Health

  • MSc in Applied Research

  • MSc and PhD supervision


Dr Christopher Gidlow
Associate Professor
School of Life Sciences and Education
Staffordshire University
Brindley Building
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294330