Christof is a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology. He joined Loughborough University in 2009 to complete his PhD at the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, for which he is currently leading the Health and Wellbeing Strand. His main research focus has evolved from Applied Exercise Physiology in populations with disabilities to research in the fields of Spinal Cord Injury, Upper Body Exercise, and Inflammation. Christof’s current projects are aimed at populations with reduced muscle mass or function, or those with an increased risk for chronic disease due to mobility restrictions. In addition to investigating exercise interventions, Christof is interested in the health promoting effects of hot water baths.

Christof is currently leading and delivering on modules at both Undergraduate and MSc level in the fields of Exercise Physiology and Exercise Immunology.

Christof is involved in projects as follows:

  • Passive elevations of core temperature as a method to improve the inflammatory risk marker profile
  • Core and skin temperature and their relationship with the cytokine and heat shock protein response to exercise
  • Core and skin temperature and perceptions of comfort and temperature
  • Temperature and glycaemic control
  • Acute passive elevations of core temperature and impact of high level spinal cord injuries
  • Monocyte subtypes and leukocyte surface markers – influence of active muscle mass on exercise-induced responses
  • The inflammatory response to exercise – impact of spinal cord injury level
  • Exercise guidelines for adults with spinal cord injury
  • External Examiner, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Member of the Midlands Innovation Flow Group
  • Visiting researcher at Wakayama Medical University (Japan)
  • UK wide teaching at Undergraduate and MSc level

Featured publications

  • Mansfield, R.G., Hoekstra S.P., Bill J.J., Leicht C.A. Local cooling during hot water immersion improves perceptions without inhibiting the acute interleukin-6 response. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 2021; 121(6):1581-1591.
  • Hoekstra S.P., Bishop N.C., Leicht C.A. Elevating body temperature to reduce chronic low-grade inflammation: a welcome strategy for those unable to exercise?  Exerc. Immunol. Rev. 2020; 26:42-55.
  • Leicht C.A., James, L.J., Briscoe, J.H.B., Hoekstra S.P. Hot water immersion acutely increases postprandial glucose concentrations. Physiol. Reports 2019 Oct;7(20):e14223.
  • Hoekstra S.P., Bishop N.C., Faulkner S.H., Bailey S.J., Leicht C.A. The acute and chronic effects of hot water immersion on inflammation and metabolism in sedentary, overweight adults.  J. Appl. Physiol. 2018; 125(6):2008-2018.
  • Martin Ginis K.A., van der Scheer J.W., Latimer-Cheung A.E., … Leicht C.A. et al. Evidence-Based Scientific Exercise Guidelines for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury: An Update and a New Guideline. Spinal Cord 2018; 56(4):308-21.
  • Faulkner S.H., Jackson, S., Fatania, G., Leicht C.A. Passive heating, heat shock protein 70, interleukin-6 and energy expenditure: A treatment tool for metabolic diseases? Temperature 2017; 4(3):292-304.
  • Leicht C.A., Paulson, T.A.W., Goosey-Tolfrey V.L., Bishop N.C. Arm and intensity-matched leg exercise induce similar inflammatory responses. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2016; 48(6):1161-8.
  • Leicht C.A., Kouda K., Umemoto Y., Banno M., Kinoshita T., Moriki T., Nakamura T., Bishop N.C., Goosey-Tolfrey V.L., Tajima F. Hot water immersion induces an acute cytokine response in cervical spinal cord injury. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 2015; 115(11):2243-52.
  • Leicht C.A., Goosey-Tolfrey V.L, Bishop N.C. Spinal cord injury: Known and possible influences on the immune response to exercise. Exerc. Immunol. Rev. 2013; 19: 144-63.