The University of Western Australia

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Fiona Bull

Professor Fiona Bull

Human Sciences, School of

Contact details
School of Human Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M087)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 1249
BEd Exe., MSc Lough., PhD W.Aust.
Professor Fiona Bull is Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health (CBEH), at The University of Western Australia and President of International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH). She has 20 years of experience in public health with a focus on prevention of chronic disease and specifically lifestyle related risk factors including physical inactivity. Her research and public health work extends across both developed and developing countries and she has extensive national and international research collaborations and ongoing work with the World Health Organisation. To date, Professor Bull has an H-index of 34, over 150 scientific publications, book chapters and reports, and research funding of $16 million. Outputs of her research have informed local, national and global policy and practice.

Her current research focuses on understanding of the impact of the built environment on health and policy to create healthy, active and sustainable communities and cities. Her work has a specific focus on participation in physical activity, active transport, walking and cycling, measurement and monitoring of health behaviours and evaluating programs and policy across different settings (community, school, workplace, and primary health care). This work has a strong emphasis on collaboration across multiple disciplines and research translation. Examples of recent projects include: Project RESIDE a 10 year longitudinal ‘natural experiment’ evaluating the WA State Government's Liveable Neighbourhood Guidelines; the award winning Public Open Space Spatial Analysis Tool (; global burden of disease attributable to physical inactivity and global participation levels; iConnect a UK study assess the impact of improvements in infrastructure on travel mode; and the development of the UK physical activity guidelines (Start Active Stay Active, 2011).

Professor Bull provides leadership to the global advocacy agenda for physical through her work with the Advocacy Council (GAPA) and the International Society of Physical Activity and Health. She led the development of the Toronto Charter on Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action (2010) as well as the NCD Prevention: Seven Investments that work for physical activity (2011).
Professor Bulls’ current focus is on supporting global action to address the global agenda on physical activity in all regions. This focus sets out to achieve the new global target to reduce inactivity by 10% by 2025 as outlined in the World Health Organisations action plan for 2025.
Key research
Impact of built environment on health
Public Open Space
Urban Policy
Intervention Research
Research translation
Global and national policy and action on physical activity
Over 150 publications in peer reviewed journals including 107 journal articles, 7 book chapters and 28 scientific monographs and reports.
Selected publications from 2012-2014 are below:
Wood- Gush, B., Bull F. Health by Urban Design: Perth - A City reinvented for Healthy Living. Les Cahiers: Territoires, incubateurs de santé?2014;170/171: 130-133
Adams EJ, Goad M, Sahlqvist S, Bull FC, Cooper AR, Ogilvie D, et al. Reliability and validity of the Transport and Physical Activity Questionnaire (TPAQ) for assessing physical activity behaviour PLOS ONE. 2014; 9(9): 1-9.
Oida, Y, Inoue, S, Takeda, N, Bull, F. Introduction of the Health-enhancing Physical Activity Policy Audit Tool (HEPA PAT). Research in Exercise Epidemiology. 2014; 16(2): 92-110.
Bull FC, Milton K, Kahlmeier S. National Policy on Physical Activity: The development of a Policy Audit Tool (PAT). Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2014;11:233 – 40.
Bull F, Milton K, Kahlmeier S, Arlotti A, Juričan AB, Belander O, et al. Turning the tide: national policy approaches to increasing physical activity in seven European countries. British journal of sports medicine. 2014:bjsports-2013-093200.
Villanueva K, Knuiman M, Nathan A, Giles-Corti B, Christian H, Foster S, Bull, F. The impact of neighborhood walkability on walking: Does it differ across adult life stage and does neighborhood buffer size matter? Health & place. 2014;25:43-6.
Villanueva, K., Knuiman, M., Koohsari, J., Hickey, S., Foster, S., Badland, H., Nathan, A., Bull, F., Giles-Corti, B. People living in hilly residential areas in metropolitan Perth have less diabetes: Spurious determinant or important environmental correlate? International Journal of Health Geographics (IF 2.200). 2013;12(59)
Adams E, Goodman A, Sahlqvist S, Bull F, Ogilvie D, on behalf of the iConnect consortium. Correlates of Walking and Cycling for Transport and Recreation: Factor structure, reliability and behavioural associations of the perceptions of the environment in the neighbourhood scale (PENS). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2013;10(87).
Pereira G, Christian H, Foster S, Boruff BJ, Bull F, Knuiman M, et al. The association between neighborhood greenness and weight status: An observational study in Perth Western Australia. Environmental Health. 2013;12(1):49.
Ding D, Adams MA, Sallis JF, Norman GJ, Hovell MF, Chambers CD, et al. Perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity in 11 countries: Do associations differ by country? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2013;10(1):57.
Müller-Riemenschneider F, Pereira G, Villanueva K, Christian H, Knuiman M, Giles-Corti B, Bull, F. Neighborhood walkability and cardiometabolic risk factors in Australian adults: an observational study. BMC Public Health. 2013;13(755).
Halliday E, Mutrie N, Bull F. Getting Scotland on the move? Reflections on a 5-year review of Scotland's national physical activity strategy. Br J Sports Med 2013.
Bull F, Dvorak J. Tackling chronic disease through increased physical activity in the Arab World and the Middle East: challenge and opportunity. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013;47(10):600-2.
Lim S, Vos T, and the Global Burden of Disease Collaboration. A Comparative Risk Assessment of Burden of Disease and Injury Attributable to 67 Risk Factors and Risk Factor Clusters in 21 Regions, 1990–2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet. 2012 380:2224-60.
Hallal PC, Andersen LB, Bull FC, Guthold R, Haskell W, Ekelund U. Global physical activity levels: surveillance progress, pitfalls, and prospects. The Lancet. 2012;380(9838):247-57.
Giles-Corti B, Bull F, Kuiman M, McCormack G, Van Niel K, Timperio B, Christian H, Foster S, Divitini M, Middleton N, Boruff B. The influence of urban design on neighborhood walking following residential relocation: Longitudinal results from the RESIDE study Social Science & Medicine. 2012.
Khan K, Thompsom A, Blaire S, Sallis J, Powell K, Bull F, et al. Physical activity, exercise and sport: their role in the health of nations. The Lancet. 2012;380:59-64.
Milton K, Clemes S, Bull F. Can a single question provide an accurate measure of physical activity? British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012 April 20, 2012.
Ogilvie D, Bull F, Cooper A, Rutter H, Adams E, Brand C, et al. Evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of a ‘natural experiment’in the provision of new walking and cycling infrastructure: methods for the core module of the iConnect study. BMJ open. 2012;2(1).
Kolbe-Alexander T, Lambert V, Bull F. Physical Activity Advocacy and Promotion: The South African experience. South African Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012 (in press).
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health
Professor of Public Health
Physical Activity
Health Promotion
Population surveillance of risk factors
Urban Design and Health
Funding received
Over AUS $22 million has been successfully sought from competitive research sources, industry and non-government organisations. Current grants include:
NH&MRC Centre For Research Excellence in Healthy, Liveable and Equitable Communities [#1061404] National collaboration between University of Melbourne, QUT, UWA 2013-2018 AUS $2, 500, 000
Healthway (Western Australia). Long-term follow-up of Liveable Neighbourhoods: research into practice (RESIDE2). Giles-Corti, B., Knuiman, M., Van Niel, K., Bull, F., Wood, L., Zubrick, S., Hickling, S., Christian, H., Shilton, T. [#18921]. 2010-2014. AUS $750,000.
National Heart Foundation Evaluation of the Healthy Workplace Support Services. Rosenberg M, Bull, F. 2014-2015. AUS $340,118.
SafetNet Grant. UWA Built Environment Determinants of Child Development Safety-net Grant. Christian, Zubrick, Bull, Knuiman, Turrell, Giles-Corti, Wood, Brinkman. 2014-2015. AUS $70,000.
Parks and Leisure Australia. Community facilities guidelines project, Bull, F, Hooper, P., collaborating with Aecom. 2014-2016. AUD $97, 400
President of International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH)
Member of the Australian Health Promotion Association
Honours and awards
2014 Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Services to Public Health. Award from the British Monarchy
2014 Planning Institute Australia (WA) Awards for Planning Excellence 2014, Minister’s Award: Healthy Active by Design (HABD) with the Heart Foundation WA and Hassell.
2014 Planning Institute Australia (WA) Awards for Planning Excellence 2014, President’s Award: Healthy Active by Design (HABD) with the Heart Foundation WA and Hassel.
2014 Parks & Leisure Australia (WA) Awards of Excellence: Use of Technology
2014 Parks & Leisure Australia (WA) Awards of Excellence: Research
2013 Award for Best Planning Idea: Large Project Category for Positive Places - POS TOOL: Spatial analysis tool for public open space (; Planning Institute of Australia (West Australia). 2013
2012 Honorary Member of CELEFISC the Physical Fitness Research Center, São Caetano do Sul São Paulo, Brazil.
Previous positions
Professor, School of Population Health, University of Western Australia
Senior Lecturer, School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, University of Western Australia [Jan 2003 - July 2004]
World Health Organization Non communicable Disease and Mental Health Physical Activity Advisor, Cross Cluster Surveillance [Aug 2002 – Dec 2002]
Research Scientist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity [July 2000 – Jan 2003]
National Health and Medical Research Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia March [1997 – July 2000]
PUBH1102 Globalization and Health
PUBH5754 Health promotion: Master of Public Health
International Short Course on Physical Activity and Public Health: Mexico (January 2006); SE Asia (March 2006, August 2007); Canada (2006, 2007, 2008); South Africa (March 2007), Australia and Pacific Islands (Sydney, 2008), WPRO Region (Manilla, Philippines Dec 2008)
Current external positions
Senior Advisor WHO East Mediterranean Region on Physical Activity
President: International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH)
Member of the Expert Reference Group for NCD Surveillance, World Health Organisation
Expert Advisor: International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)
Current projects
RESIDE: longitudinal natural experiment evaluating the Western Australian State Government’s Livable Neighbourhood Guidelines (WA
LIFECOURSE: A cross sectional study utilising data from the health and wellbeing surveillance system (WA).
Healthy Active by Design: with National Heart Foundation (WA)
POS Tool: (Australia)
Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN): WA Data Hub in collaboration with PATREC (UWA)
iConnect: Impact of Constructing Non-motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel (UK)
Evaluation of National Policy on Physical Activity in the Middle East.
Development of Policy Audit Tool (PAT)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM