Fiona Bull

Professor, BEd Exe., MSc Lough., PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


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.

Roles and responsibilities

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 overview

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

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]

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)

Teaching overview

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)


Impact of built environment on health
Public Open Space
Urban Policy
Intervention Research
Research translation
Global and national policy and action on physical activity

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • Health promotion
  • Physical activity
  • Built environment and health
  • Global health
  • Workplace health
  • Risk factor monitoring and surveillance


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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