School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


Professor Mark Hamer PhD

Photo of Professor Mark Hamer

Chair in Exercise as Medicine

Professor Hamer graduated in Sport and Exercise Science (1996) at The University of Birmingham, completed an MSc in Sports Sciences (1999) at Brunel University and later received his PhD from De Montfort University (2002). He spent eleven years at University College London as a researcher in Epidemiology and Public Health funded by the British Heart Foundation. In 2015 he was appointed as Chair in Exercise as Medicine at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine. He is currently PI on the age 46 biomedical assessment of the 1970 British Cohort Study, and also leads research on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Health Survey for England, and The Whitehall II Study.

Key research themes:

  • Physical activity/sedentary and population health
  • Physical activity promotion
  • Free-living physical activity measurement
  • Metabolically healthy obesity
  • Psychobiology of exercise

Ongoing funded research projects:

  • Reducing sedentary behaviour in older adults: Development of a brief habit-based intervention. Gardner-Sood (PI), Fox, Hamer, Iliffe, Jefferis, Morris, Steptoe, Wardle. Funded through the National Prevention Research Initiative, £430,220.
  • Active Buildings: modelling physical activity and movement in office buildings. Wardle (PI), Fisher, Gardner-Sood, Hamer, Marmot, Raine, Ucci.Funded through NIHRSchool for Public Health Research, £471,005.
  • Camden Active Spaces: Effect of active school playgrounds on children’s physical activity. Hamer (PI), Kipps. Funded through Economic Social Research Council £192,246; Camden Clinical Commissioning Group £20,000.
  • Biomedical survey of the 1970 British Cohort Study. Hamer and Sullivan (co-PIs), Brown.Economic Social Research Council/ Medical Research Council £3,920,000.
  • Objective assessment of free-living physical activity and sedentary in the 1970 British Cohort Study. Hamer (PI), Stamatakis, Chastin, Sullivan.British Heart Foundation, £ 522,485.
  • Centre for Longitudinal Studies Cross-Cohort Research Programme (CCRP). Ploubidis (PI), Goodman, Sullivan, Fitzsimons, Platt, Maggs, Staff, Hamer, Bonnell.Economic Social Research Council, £1,500,000


  • BASES Sportesse Exercise Science Oral Presentation Award “Physical activity and risk of cardiovascular disease events”
  • BUPA Foundation Award (£15,000) for work in chronic disease epidemiology
  • BASES Early Career Researcher Award in Physical Activity and Health
  • APS Herbert Weiner Early Career Award for significant contributions to the field of Psychosomatic Medicine. ($1000)
  • The Endocrine Society International Award for Publishing Excellence in The Journal of Clinical  Endocrinology & Metabolism ($1000)

Honorary positions:

  • Visiting Professor, Hypertension in Africa Research Team, North-West University, South Africa (since 2012)
  • Honorary Professor, UCL Institute Epidemiology and Health Care

Invited talks (last five years):

  • Exercise, active commuting and cardiovascular disease prevention. Europrevent, Geneva.
  • Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and healthy ageing. Royal Society of Medicine Exercise Medicine conference. London, UK.
  • Associations between objectively assessed and self-reported sedentary time with mental health in adults. Health Survey for England annual report seminar. London, UK.
  • Less sitting or more exercise: what's the optimal prescription? Plenary address for Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Forum at Evidence Based Peri-Operative Medicine (EBPOM). London, UK.
  • Taking up physical activity in later life and healthy ageing.The Physical Activity and Nutrition Network Wales (Public Health Wales); Conference on Physical Activity in Older Adults. Cardiff, Wales.
  • Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and healthy ageing: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Invited talk at the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit.
  • Metabolically healthy overweight/obese individuals should be recommended for weight loss. Key lecture at The Obesity Society, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Commissions of trust:

  • Scientific Advisory Board, BASES consensus statement on physical activity and health.
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Central YMCA Health advisory board  
  • Scientific Evaluation, European Space Agency; MARS500 and Concordia
  • Scientific Advisory Board, British Heart Foundation; the development of a web-based health education tool (“Heart Matters”)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, World Health Organization; ‘The development of guidance and a practical tool for economic assessment of health effects from walking [HEAT]’
  • Scientific Advisory Board, The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI Europe)
  • Review panel member, The French National Cancer Institute (INCa) and Public Health Research Institute (IReSP)
  • Grant Review panel member, call for research in physical activity and health, The Academy of Finland.
  • Planning committee, 1st International Conference on Transport and Health (co-hosted by UCL and Transportation Public Health Link).
  • Scientific Advisory Board, MRC Epidemiology Unit & Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), Cambridge. School environments and activity intensity distribution project.
  • Bell JA, Hamer M, van Hees VT, Singh-Manoux A, Kivimäki M, Sabia S.Healthy obesity and objective physical activity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(2):268-75.
  • Endrighi R, Steptoe A, Hamer M.The effect of experimentally induced sedentariness on mood and psychobiological responses to mental stress. Br J Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 20. pii: bjp.bp.114.150755. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Hamer M, Smith L, Stamatakis E.Prospective association of TV viewing with acute phase reactants and coagulation markers: English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Atherosclerosis. 2015;239(2):322-7.
  • Steptoe A, Hackett RA, Lazzarino AI, Bostock S, La Marca R, Carvalho LA, Hamer M. Disruption of multisystem responses to stress in type 2 diabetes: Investigating the dynamics of allostatic load. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(44):15693-8
  • Hamer M, de Oliveira C, Demakakos P. Non-exercise physical activity and survival: English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Am J Prev Med 2014;47(4):452-60.
  • Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Steptoe A.Effects of substituting sedentary time with physical activity on metabolic risk. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014;46(10):1946-50.
  • Hamer M, Bostock S, Hackett R, Steptoe A.Objectively assessed sedentary time and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a case–control study. Diabetologia. 2013;56(12):2761-2.
  • Lazzarino AI, Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Steptoe A.The combined association of psychological distress and socioeconomic status with all-cause mortality: a national cohort study. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(1):22-7.
  • Stamatakis E, Hamer M, O'Donovan G, Batty GD, Kivimaki M.A non-exercise testing method for estimating cardiorespiratory fitness: associations with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in a pooled analysis of eight population-based cohorts. Eur Heart J. 2013;34(10):750-8.
  • Hamer M, Stamatakis E.Metabolically healthy obesity and risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012;97(7):2482-8.
  • Hamer M, Sabia S, Batty GD, Shipley MJ, Tabák AG, Singh-Manoux A, Kivimaki M. Physical activity and inflammatory markers over 10 years: Follow-up in men and women from the Whitehall II cohort study. Circulation 2012;126:928-33.
  • Hamer M, Batty GD, Kivimaki M. Risk of future depression in people who are obese but metabolically healthy: the English longitudinal study of ageing. Molecular Psychiatry. 2012;17:940-5.
  • Hamer M, Venuraju SM, Lahiri A, Rossi A, Steptoe A. Objectively assessed physical activity, sedentary time and coronary artery calcification in healthy older adults. Art Thromb Vasc Biol 2012;32:500-505.
  • Williams EW, Stamatakis E, Chandola T, Hamer M. Physical activity behaviour and coronary heart disease mortality among South Asian people in the UK: An observational, longitudinal study. Heart 2011;97:655-9.
  • Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Batty GD. Objectively assessed second hand smoke exposure and mental health in adults: cross-sectional and prospective evidence. JAMA Psychiatry 2010;67:850-55.
  • Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Mishra G. Psychological distress, television viewing, and physical activity in children aged 4 to 12 years. Pediatrics 2009;123:1263-68.
  • Hamer M, Molloy GJ, Stamatakis E. Psychological distress as a risk factor for CVD events: Patho-physiological and behavioral mechanisms. J Amer Coll Cardiol 2008;52:2156-62.