People

Dr Valerie Gladwell

Senior Lecturer
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences
Dr Valerie Gladwell
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873821

  • Location

    ESA.3.14, Colchester Campus

Profile

Biography

I joined the Centre for Sports & Exercise Science within the School of Biological Sciences in September 2000 as a Lecturer in Sports Science. I studied for my PhD entitled "Reflex mechanisms eliciting the changes in heart rate caused by isometric exercise" under the guidance of Professor John Coote in the Medical School at the University of Birmingham. I gained my PhD in 2001. Prior to this I studied for my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science also at the University of Birmingham. Supervision of research students I have successfully supervised five PhD and several Masters by research. I am currently supervising two further PhD students and a Masters by Research. Personal bit I am a Northerner - not that you can tell that from my accent. I was born and brought up in Northumberland before moving to University of Birmingham to do my Bachelor in Medical Science and my PhD in Physiology. My PhD had lots of great bits to it, but the best by far was meeting my husband who had the same supervisor, Professor John Coote! After securing my job at University of Essex, Simon followed me to Suffolk (where coincidentally his parents live) I am a mother of 3 children, working part-time (although now up to 4 days) and try and get that balance between home and work! I like to play hard though enjoying many physical pursuits including walking, cycling, swimming and running. Running is my main love and I have been competitive since I was about 11 years old. I appear in several UK rankings from when I was younger, representing Scotland (as I have many roots in Scotland including a Scottish mum, and I lived there for a bit too). I manage to get out for a run most days with my lovely Springer Spaniel aptly named Bolt and my Cocker Spaniel called Barnaby. I broke my collar bone in March 2017 and my leg in May 2015 and have managed to get back into training but not quite sure what my next challenge is. Maybe a run/swim/run, another open water swimming challenge or cycling. My children are all active and enjoy rubgy, cricket, swimming, athletics, cycling, cross-country and triathlon. My kids are now getting faster than me with one of them at age 12 years old already British champion in triathlon, athletics (800m), biathlon and biathle. I am a Level 2 cricket coach and I am Junior Chair of our local cricket club, Hadleigh. My aim is inspire children, particularly girls to achieve all they can in sport. I have successfully coached 6 girls up to County Standard. In Summer 2016, I received the English Cricket Board Coach Awards: Outstanding Contribution for all the work that I do for cricket coaching. I set up a Ladies team for Hadleigh Cricket Club and wein our first season in 2017 we were placed mid-table! I am also an Activator coach for rugby and enjoy coaching the boys and girls (uU9s) at my local club. I am also team manager for Hadleigh swimming club.

Qualifications

  • PhD University of Birmingham, (2001)

  • BMedSci University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, (1997)

Appointments

University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer, School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex (1/8/2017 - present)

  • Senior Lecturer, Biological Sciences, University of Essex (1/1/2009 - 1/8/2017)

  • Lecturer, University of Essex (1/9/2000 - 1/1/2009)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Physical activity for health

With increasing rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease, we need new approaches to both prevention and rehabilitation following major diseases without the side-effects of drug intervention and the direct cost of pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, improving general health and well-being would reduce the financial burden that accompanies ill-health and the care of these individuals including days off sick. Therefore my overarching theme to get individuals to enage with physical activity particularly those of a working populations who have increased pressures in the workplace and increasing sedentary time. Physical activity has been shown to improve both physiological and psychological well-being, as well as reductions in obesity and cardiovascular disease. There are, however, important cultural and other barriers to physical activity to overcome particularly the use of green environments. Therefore perceptions, accessibility and attitudes to physical activity need to be assessed. Adherence to exercise (through enjoyment) and the support of employers is vital, if physical activity, in particular if "Green Exercise", is to be implemented as an effective therapy.

Green Exercise

I am currently the principal investigator for physiology in "Green Exercise". The research is interdisciplinary with links within the School and within the University. In 2009 I was awarded a prestigious ESRC interdisciplinary career personal fellowship (£300,000)- Green Exercise: The combination of physical activity in a natural environment The work conducted built on my innovative expertise in the area of autonomic control and on work that I have conducted on recovery from exercise and stress; in addition, it will build on the expertise in "Green Exercise" that currently exists in the School, which to date has focussed on psychological measures."Green Exercise" could be used as a powerful tool to help fight the growing incidence of cardiovascular disease. The synergistic combination of exercise and exposure to nature could help supplement current expensive drug-based therapies. Furthermore, adherence to exercise might improve. We aim to highlight the physiological changes that result from an interaction between the environment and exercise and also the impact "green exercise" has on our health and well-being. Thus, "Green Exercise" may be possible to use a simple and inexpensive and yet powerful tool to improve the quality of life of many individuals and to reduce costs of health care. I was also awarded a British Heart Foundation PhD studentship in 2010 and Daniel Brown successful completed his PhD in the area of Green Exercise. The research is concentrated on the working population. Working life incorporates everyday stressful situations. As stress is one of the triggers of acute CVD, this project investigates whether exposure to natural environments at lunch-time with or without exercise can help reduce reaction to stress. We will examine the acute responses to stress after exposure to different environment). We will also investigate if there are alterations in response to stress where participants are undertake exercise several times a week for 8 weeks. This project examines not only physiological and psychological responses but also examines biochemical changes that are occuring in the body in response to stress. We are mainly looking at cortisol (which is found in saliva) but will also be investigating changes in alpha-amylase.

Breaking up Sedentary Time

I am interested in investigating breaking up sedentary time with physical activity in short bouts by using calisthenics. This has shown to improve vascular function and now investigating other benefits including balance and proprioception. (MSc student investigating).

Cardiovascular Physiology

Behavioural change theories into practice for physical activity for health

Working with Essex County Council and others to look at how to bring about behaviour change

Workplace wellbeing

Workplace health and wellbeing is also a key interest: have conducted several studies in businesses and have helped improved their health and wellbeing. Awarded Bronze Chairman’s award (2012) (BAE Systems) in the category of ‘Supporting our Total Performance Culture Category. Also part of the University of Essex team that was awarded for the University of Essex Highly Commended for Workplace Health for the Business in the Community (East of England). I also supported my husband's company in winning the East Anglia Daily Times Health and Wellbeing award 2014. I am also worked with other local companies including Copella and Essex County Council.

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Professional Skills and Development 1 (SE101)

  • Anatomy and Physiology (SE105)

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Coaches (SE111)

  • Professional Skills and Development 2 (SE201)

  • Exercise Physiology (SE203)

  • Sports Injuries and Exercise Rehabilitation (SE204)

  • Health and Active Lifestyle (SE205)

  • Research Project and Skills in Sports Science (SE309)

Publications

Journal articles (35)

Flowers, EP., Freeman, P. and Gladwell, VF., (2018). Enhancing the acute psychological benefits of green exercise: An investigation of expectancy effects. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 39, 213-221

Wooller, JJ., Rogerson, M., Barton, J., Micklewright, D. and Gladwell, V., (2018). Can Simulated Green Exercise Improve Recovery From Acute Mental Stress?. Frontiers in Psychology. 9 (NOV), 2167-

Micklewright, D., St Clair Gibson, A., Gladwell, V. and Al Salman, A., (2017). Development and Validity of the Rating-of-Fatigue Scale. Sports Medicine. 47 (11), 2375-2393

Carter, SE. and Gladwell, VF., (2017). Effect of breaking up sedentary time with callisthenics on endothelial function. Journal of Sports Sciences. 35 (15), 1508-1514

Flowers, EP., Freeman, P. and Gladwell, VF., (2017). The Development of Three Questionnaires to Assess Beliefs about Green Exercise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 14 (10), 1172-1172

Gladwell, V., Kuoppa, P., Tarvainen, M. and Rogerson, M., (2016). A Lunchtime Walk in Nature Enhances Restoration of Autonomic Control during Night-Time Sleep: Results from a Preliminary Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13 (3), 280-280

Rogerson, M., Gladwell, VF., Gallagher, DJ. and Barton, JL., (2016). Influences of green outdoors versus indoors environmental settings on psychological and social outcomes of controlled exercise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13 (4), 363-363

Flowers, EP., Freeman, P. and Gladwell, V., (2016). A cross-sectional study examining predictors of visit frequency to local green space and the impact this has on physical activity levels. BMC Public Health. 16 (1), 420-

Wooller, JJ., Barton, J., Gladwell, VF. and Micklewright, D., (2016). Occlusion of sight, sound and smell during Green Exercise influences mood, perceived exertion and heart rate. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 26 (3), 267-280

Gladwell, V., Kuoppa, P., Tarvainen, M. and Rogerson, M., (2016). A Lunchtime Walk in Nature Enhances Restoration of Autonomic Control during Night-Time Sleep: Results from a Preliminary Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13 (3)

Carter, SE., Jones, M. and Gladwell, VF., (2015). Energy expenditure and heart rate response to breaking up sedentary time with three different physical activity interventions. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. 25 (5), 503-509

Weinstein, N., Balmford, A., DeHaan, CR., Gladwell, V., Bradbury, RB. and Amano, T., (2015). Seeing Community for the Trees: The Links among Contact with Natural Environments, Community Cohesion, and Crime. Bioscience. 65 (12), 1141-1153

Brown, DK., Barton, JL., Pretty, J. and Gladwell, VF., (2014). Walks4Work: Assessing the role of the natural environment in a workplace physical activity intervention. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. 40 (4), 390-399

Wood, C., Gladwell, V. and Barton, J., (2014). A Repeated Measures Experiment of School Playing Environment to Increase Physical Activity and Enhance Self-Esteem in UK School Children. PLoS ONE. 9 (9), e108701-e108701

Wood, C., Gladwell, V. and Barton, JL., (2014). A repeated measures experiment of school playing environment to increase physical activity and enhance self-esteem in UK school children. PloS One. 9 (9), creators-Gladwell=3AValerie=3A=3A

Gladwell, VF., Brown, DK., Wood, C., Sandercock, GR. and Barton, JL., (2013). The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all. Extreme Physiology & Medicine. 2 (1), 3-3

Przybylski, AK., Murayama, K., DeHaan, CR. and Gladwell, V., (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior. 29 (4), 1841-1848

Brown, DK., Barton, JL. and Gladwell, VF., (2013). Viewing Nature Scenes Positively Affects Recovery of Autonomic Function Following Acute-Mental Stress. Environmental Science & Technology. 47 (11), 5562-5569

Brown, D., Grimwade, D., Martinez-Bussion, D., Taylor, MJ. and Gladwell, V., (2013). The Validity of the ActiPed for Physical Activity Monitoring. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 34 (05), 431-437

Lipponen, JA., Gladwell, VF., Kinnunen, H., Karjalainen, PA. and Tarvainen, MP., (2013). The correlation of vectorcardiographic changes to blood lactate concentration during an exercise test. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control. 8 (6), 491-499

Brown, DK., Grimwade, D., Martinez-Bussion, D., Taylor, MJD. and Gladwell, V., (2013). The Validity of the ActiPed for Physical Activity Monitoring. International Journal Of Sports Medicine. 34 (05), 431-437

Gladwell, V., Brown, DK., Wood, C., Sandercock, G. and Barton, JL., (2013). The Great Outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all. Extreme Physiology & Medicine. 2 (3)

Gladwell, VF., Brown, DK., Barton, JL., Tarvainen, MP., Kuoppa, P., Pretty, J., Suddaby, JM. and Sandercock, GRH., (2012). The effects of views of nature on autonomic control. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 112 (9), 3379-3386

Brown, DK., Barton, JL., Pretty, J. and Gladwell, VF., (2012). Walks4work: Rationale and study design to investigate walking at lunchtime in the workplace setting. BMC Public Health. 12 (1), 550-

Brown, DK., Barton, JL., Pretty, JN. and Gladwell, V., (2012). Walks4work: Rationale and study design to investigate walking at lunchtime in the workplace setting. BMC Public Health. 12 (1), creators-Gladwell=3AValerie=3A=3A

Gladwell, VF., Sandercock, GRH. and Birch, SL., (2010). Cardiac vagal activity following three intensities of exercise in humans. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. 30 (1), 17-22

Sandercock, G., Gladwell, V., Dawson, S., Nunan, D., Brodie, D. and Beneke, R., (2008). Association between RR interval and high-frequency heart rate variability acquired during short-term, resting recordings with free and paced breathing. Physiological Measurement. 29 (7), 795-802

Denna, I., Sandercock, G. and Gladwell, V., (2008). Evaluation of human autonomic response to mental stress 24 hours post-exercise. Acta Cardiologica. 63 (4), creators-Sandercock=3AGavin=3A=3A

Sandercock, G., Voss, C. and Gladwell, V., (2008). Twenty-metre shuttle run test performance of English children aged 11 – 15 years in 2007: Comparisons with international standards. Journal of Sports Sciences. 26 (9), 953-957

Gladwell, V. and Beneke, R., (2006). Blood lactate removal using combined massage and active recovery. Biology of Sport. 23 (4), 315-325

Gladwell, V., Head, S., Haggar, M. and Beneke, R., (2006). Does a Program of Pilates Improve Chronic Non-Specific Low Back Pain?. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 15 (4), 338-350

Gladwell, VF., Fletcher, J., Patel, N., Elvidge, LJ., Lloyd, D., Chowdhary, S. and Coote, JH., (2005). The influence of small fibre muscle mechanoreceptors on the cardiac vagus in humans. The Journal of Physiology. 567 (2), 713-721

Micklewright, D., Griffin, M., Gladwell, V. and Beneke, R., (2005). Mood State Response to Massage and Subsequent Exercise Performance. The Sport Psychologist. 19 (3), 234-250

Gladwell, VF. and Coote, JH., (2002). Heart rate at the onset of muscle contraction and during passive muscle stretch in humans: a role for mechanoreceptors. JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON. 540 (3), 1095-1102

Gladwell, VF. and Coote, JH., (2002). Heart rate at the onset of muscle contraction and during passive muscle stretch in humans: a role for mechanoreceptors. The Journal of Physiology. 540 (3), 1095-1102

Book chapters (2)

Rogerson, M., Barton, J., Gladwell, V. and Pretty, J., The Green Exercise Concept: Two intertwining pathways to health and wellbeing. In: Physical Activity in Natural Settings: Green Exercise & Blue Mind. Editors: MacIntyre, T. and Aoife, D., . Routledge

Gladwell, V. and Brown, DK., (2016). Green Exercise in the Workplace. In: Green Exercise Linking Nature, Health and Well-being. Editors: Barton, JL., Bragg, R., Wood, C. and Pretty, JN., . Routledge. 9781138807648

Conferences (1)

(2011). Vectorcardiographic changes during exercise test - Correlates to lactate and anaerobic threshold?

Grants and funding

2018

Improving workplace wellbeing by engaging with nature

University of Essex

IAA ECC Challenge Lab project - Improving employment rates for disabled people

University of Essex

Evaluating physical activity behaviour change in Essex: Part of the local delivery pilot

Essex County Council

Evaluating physical activity behaviour change in Essex: Part of the local delivery pilot

Essex County Council

2017

UK Active Short term research

UK Active

2016

Secondment to Essex County Council (HEAL)

University of Essex

Green Exercise - ukactive

University of Essex

2010

Physiological Experiments

Wellcome Trust

Reducing the incidence of cardiac events

British Heart Foundation

2008

Green Exercise: Environment & Exercise

Economic & Social Research Council

Contact

vglad@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 873821

Location:

ESA.3.14, Colchester Campus