Dr Sjaan Gomersall

Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Affliate Senior Lecturer

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
s.gomersall1@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54528

Overview

Sjaan Gomersall is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. Sjaan is a physiotherapt, with a PhD in physical activity and health and her research has primarily focused on understanding, measuring and influencing physical activity and sedentary behaviour. She has demonstrated skills in a range of study designs, including development and validation of measurement methods, systematic review and meta-analyses, feasibility and acceptability trials, randomised controlled trials and cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of large data sets. She has developed and evaluated several methods of measuring physical activity, including both consumer and research device based methods as well as self-report methods using a use of time approach. Sjaan has assessed physical activity and developed and evaluated physical activity interventions across a broad range of populations and settings including physically inactive adults, working adults (shift workers and truck drivers), adults living with and beyond cancer, adults with chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metaboloic syndrome), adults with overweight or obesity, adult wheelchair users, children with chronic respiratory disease and children with obesity. She has a strong track record for multi-disciplinary collaborations with national and international collaborators in health and rehabilitation sciences, public health, clinical exercise physiologists, exercise science and nutrition. Sjaan is a passionate advocate for physical activity and is committed to striving for translation of evidence into clinical practice in healthcare settings.

Research Interests

  • Physical activity and health
  • Measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour
  • Health and behaviour change in first year university students
  • Effectiveness of new generation eHealth trackers in improving physical activity behaviours

Research Impacts

Sjaan is an early-mid career researcher who has an outstanding track record relative to opportunity with an emerging international profile in physical activity, behaviour change and health research. Over 10% (3 articles) of her articles are in the top 5% of most-cited publications worldwide (field-weighted) (SciVal, May 2018). Sjaan has a field-weighted citation impact of 2.15 meaning that she is being cited 115% more than expected based on her field and has been cited in 17 different subject areas, indicating her impact beyond her immediate field (Scopus, May 2018). Her work has been cited in policy (French Physical Activity Guidelines 2016; Australian Report Card on Physical Activity 2014), patents (Apple Inc 2016) and has influenced practice through collaboration with community delivered exercise programs.

She is regularly invited to deliver local and national workshops and seminars on physical activity and health for health professionals, including physiotherapists, clinical exercise physiologists and exercise scientists. She has been invited to give a seminar for the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Queensland State Breakfast and a fully-funded, invited workshop at the 2019 APA conference, as well as seminars for (1) neurological, (2) cancer, lymphedema and palliative care, (3) occupational health and safety and (4) musculoskeletal special interest groups. These contributions highlight her ability to engage clinicians and her commitment to translating behaviour change science into clinical practice. Sjaan has been a board member for the International Society for Physical Activity and Health since 2016 and has served on organising and scientific committees for international physical activity and behaviour change conferences.

Sjaan has demonstrated leadership in the mentoring and career development of early career researchers. She established and currently leads the HaBS Faculty Early Career Executive, leads the ECR portfolio for the SHRS Research Committee and represents HaBS on the EMCR@UQ committee.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, S.Aust.

Publications

  • Milton, Karen, Cavill, Nick, Chalkley, Anna, Foster, Charlie, Gomersall, Sjaan, Hagstromer, Maria, Kelly, Paul, Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy, Mair, Jacqueline, McLaughlin, Matthew, Nobles, James, Reece, Lindsey, Shilton, Trevor, Smith, Ben J and Schipperijn, Jasper (2021). Eight investments that work for physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 18 (6), 1-6. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2021-0112

  • Karinharju, Kati S., Gomersall, Sjaan R., Clanchy, Kelly M., Trost, Stewart G., Yeo, Li T. and Tweedy, Sean M. (2021). Validity of two wheelchair-mounted devices for estimating wheelchair speed and distance traveled. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 1-17. doi: 10.1123/apaq.2020-0122

  • Hardy, Louise L. and Gomersall, Sjaan R. (2021). Population measurement of physical activity among children aged under ten years. Physical activity and sport during the first ten years of life. (pp. 16-27) edited by Richard Bailey, Jennifer P. Agans, Jean Côté, Andy Daly-Smith and Phillip D. Tomporowski. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429352645-4

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The successful applicant will explore subjective quality of life and components of objectively measured physical activity of the MRFF-funded project Enhancing treatment outcomes after gynaecological cancer: Using exercise to promote health after cancer therapy (the ACUMEN trial). A synopsis of the project follows. Exercise is a potent aid to recovery after reproductive cancer treatment. Exercise has been effectively used in breast and other common cancers to reduce women’s risk of developing treatment-related chronic conditions. However, there is little education and support to help women treated for reproductive cancers to safely and sustainably integrate exercise into their daily routine following treatment. This disparity has created an unmet need. Approximately 20,000 Australian women treated for reproductive cancer have developed, or are at risk of developing, detrimental treatment outcomes.

    The ACUMEN trial addresses this critical unmet health need. ACUMEN has two components. 1. Study 1 is a randomised control trial of a targeted exercise and behavioural change intervention for women previously treated for reproductive cancers. Outcome measures include quality of life, exercise self-efficacy and several physiological measures (e.g VO2peak, blood markers of chronic disease risk). 2. Study 2 is a complementary mixed-method exploration of how best to facilitate the implementation of exercise into clinical practice after cancer treatment. Outcomes include quantitative and qualitative indications of intervention acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness. The Role The successful applicants will collect quality of life and physical activity data and examine outcomes commensurate with their disciplinary knowledge and skills. PhD advisors will be drawn from team members with the disciplinary expertise aligned to the candidate’s needs.

    They include: 1. Professor Alexandra McCarthy (https://nmsw.uq.edu.au/profile/2938/sandie-mccarthy) 2. Associate Professor Asad Khan (https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/1742) 3. Dr Tom Bailey (https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/19574) 4. Dr Sjaan Gomersall (https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/7683)

    These PhD opportunities would suit people with a background in one of the following: PE teachers, physios, psychology, occupational therapy, sport and exercise physiology including AEP, epidemiology, or public health.

    Scholarship funding: The proposed supervisors will work with the applicant to submit an application for an RTP scholarship. Students will be awarded either an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship or a UQ-funded scholarship via a competitive process. Both of these provide a living allowance and a tuition fee offset. For international applicants who will study in Australia on a student visa, the scholarship also includes an allowance for single overseas student health cover. These scholarships are usually awarded through the Graduate School's Scholarship Rounds. Applications open 30 august 2021 and close on the 27th September 2021. If successful, the applicant would be expected to start in RQ1 in 2022.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Hardy, Louise L. and Gomersall, Sjaan R. (2021). Population measurement of physical activity among children aged under ten years. Physical activity and sport during the first ten years of life. (pp. 16-27) edited by Richard Bailey, Jennifer P. Agans, Jean Côté, Andy Daly-Smith and Phillip D. Tomporowski. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429352645-4

  • Gomersall, Sjaan R. and Brown, Wendy J. (2017). Physical activity and physical inactivity in the aetiology of obesity. Advanced nutrition and dietetics in obesity. (pp. 126-131) Oxford, United Kingdom: Wiley and Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781118857991

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The successful applicant will explore subjective quality of life and components of objectively measured physical activity of the MRFF-funded project Enhancing treatment outcomes after gynaecological cancer: Using exercise to promote health after cancer therapy (the ACUMEN trial). A synopsis of the project follows. Exercise is a potent aid to recovery after reproductive cancer treatment. Exercise has been effectively used in breast and other common cancers to reduce women’s risk of developing treatment-related chronic conditions. However, there is little education and support to help women treated for reproductive cancers to safely and sustainably integrate exercise into their daily routine following treatment. This disparity has created an unmet need. Approximately 20,000 Australian women treated for reproductive cancer have developed, or are at risk of developing, detrimental treatment outcomes.

    The ACUMEN trial addresses this critical unmet health need. ACUMEN has two components. 1. Study 1 is a randomised control trial of a targeted exercise and behavioural change intervention for women previously treated for reproductive cancers. Outcome measures include quality of life, exercise self-efficacy and several physiological measures (e.g VO2peak, blood markers of chronic disease risk). 2. Study 2 is a complementary mixed-method exploration of how best to facilitate the implementation of exercise into clinical practice after cancer treatment. Outcomes include quantitative and qualitative indications of intervention acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness. The Role The successful applicants will collect quality of life and physical activity data and examine outcomes commensurate with their disciplinary knowledge and skills. PhD advisors will be drawn from team members with the disciplinary expertise aligned to the candidate’s needs.

    They include: 1. Professor Alexandra McCarthy (https://nmsw.uq.edu.au/profile/2938/sandie-mccarthy) 2. Associate Professor Asad Khan (https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/1742) 3. Dr Tom Bailey (https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/19574) 4. Dr Sjaan Gomersall (https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/7683)

    These PhD opportunities would suit people with a background in one of the following: PE teachers, physios, psychology, occupational therapy, sport and exercise physiology including AEP, epidemiology, or public health.

    Scholarship funding: The proposed supervisors will work with the applicant to submit an application for an RTP scholarship. Students will be awarded either an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship or a UQ-funded scholarship via a competitive process. Both of these provide a living allowance and a tuition fee offset. For international applicants who will study in Australia on a student visa, the scholarship also includes an allowance for single overseas student health cover. These scholarships are usually awarded through the Graduate School's Scholarship Rounds. Applications open 30 august 2021 and close on the 27th September 2021. If successful, the applicant would be expected to start in RQ1 in 2022.