Dr Katie Hesketh PhD

Dr Katie Hesketh

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Assistant Professor in Exercise Prescription

Dr Katie Hesketh is an exercise physiologist. Katie has a particular interest in the effectiveness of physical activity interventions as a non-pharmacological management strategy in disease management. Currently, Katie is currently working on enhancing exercise prescription for a range of clinical populations using mobile health technology.


2015 – BSc Sport and Exercise Science (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)

2016 – MPhil ‘The effect of intermittent cycle training time and intensity on aerobic capacity’

2020 – PhD ‘High intensity interval training: moving away from the laboratory and into the real-world’


Katie completed her undergraduate in Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University in 2015. After completing her dissertation in her third year she was interested in conducting more research, and therefore stayed at LJMU to complete an MPhil (or MRes). This started her journey investigating the effects of different high intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols on cardiometabolic health. During her PhD, supervised by Dr Juliette Strauss, Dr Matt Cocks, and Prof Anton Wagenmarkers, she developed ways to take HIIT outside of the controlled lab environment and into a real world setting. Following the submission of her PhD she started a post-doc in mobile health technology and exercise intervention, where she developed the MOTIVATE mHealth exercise intervention. She has recently joined (2022) the University of Birmingham, taking up the position of Assistant Professor in Exercise Prescription in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.


Exercise as medicine

Postgraduate supervision

Liza Mohd Salleh – physical activity and sedentary behavior in pregnant women with gestational diabetes


  • Digital health interventions (e.g. mHealth, eHealth, telehealth) to improve physical activity and reduce chronic disease risk
  • The accuracy and reliability of mobile health technologies, and the design and implementation of digital health behavior change interventions in inactive adults.
  • High intensity interval training as a intervention strategy to improve cardiometabolic health

Main research theme: Exercise and Health

Special interest groups:

  • Integrative Physiology of Exercise
  • Lifestyle Behaviour Change and Aging


Mclaughlin, M., Hesketh, K.L., Horgan, S.L., Florida-James, G., Cocks, M., Strauss, J.A. and Ross, M. (2023), Ex Vivo treatment of coronary artery endothelial cells with serum post-exercise training offers limited protection against in vitro exposure to FEC-T chemotherapy. Front. Physiol. 14:1079983. 

Denton, F., Waddell, A., Kite, C., Hesketh, K.L. , Atkinson, L., Cocks, M., Jones, H., Randeva, H., Davenport, N., Powell, R. and Clark, C., 2022. 7 Remote maintenance cardiac rehabilitation (MAINTAIN): a protocol for a randomised feasibility study. DIGITAL HEALTH. 2023;9.

Hesketh, K.L., Jones, H., Kinnafick, F., Shepherd, S.O., Wagenmakers, A.J., Strauss, J.A. and Cocks, M., 2021. Home-Based HIIT and Traditional MICT Prescriptions Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness to a Similar Extent Within an Exercise Referral Scheme for At-Risk Individuals. Frontiers in physiology, p.2015. 

Hesketh, K.L., Low, J., Andrews, R., Jones, C.A., Jones, H., Jung, M.E., Little, J., Mateus, C., Pulsford, R., Singer, J. and Sprung, V.S., 2021. Mobile Health Biometrics to Enhance Exercise and Physical Activity Adherence in Type 2 Diabetes (MOTIVATE-T2D): protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial. BMJ open11(11), p.e052563. 

Hesketh, K.L., Church, H., Kinnafick, F., Shepherd, S.O., Wagenmakers, A.J., Cocks, M. and Strauss, J.A., 2021. Evidence-based vs. social media based high-intensity interval training protocols: Physiological and perceptual responses. Plos one16(9), p.e0257685. 

Rowley, N., Shore, C., Buckley, B. and Hesketh, K.L., 2020. Adapt or Perish: Exercise referral schemes’ operational changes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Srisawat, K., Hesketh, K.L., Cocks, M., Strauss, J., Edwards, B.J., Lisboa, P.J., Shepherd, S. and Burniston, J.G., 2020. Reliability of protein abundance and synthesis measurements in human skeletal muscle. Proteomics, 20(7), p.1900194. 

Hesketh, K.L., Shepherd, S.O., Strauss, J.A., Low, D.A., Cooper, R.J., Wagenmakers, A.J. and Cocks, M., 2019. Passive heat therapy in sedentary humans increases skeletal muscle capillarization and eNOS content but not mitochondrial density or GLUT4 content. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 317(1), pp.H114-H123.

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