Grant Abt

Dr Grant Abt

Head of Department for Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Faculty of Health Sciences

01482 463397

Passionate about sport and exercise physiology, Dr Abt's main areas of expertise are the physiology of intermittent exercise and the use of wearable technology for monitoring physical activity.

Over a 20 year career he has established an international research profile examining the performance and physiological responses to intermittent exercise, including methods of individualising player monitoring and match analysis, and elite football referees. Dr Abt's research with elite football referees has led to changes in referee fitness assessment protocols within FIFA.

More recently his research has investigated the use of wearable technology (such as the Apple Watch) for monitoring physical activity in both healthy people and those with specific conditions. 


Research Interests

  • Sport and exercise physiology

  • Technology for measuring physical activity

Research groups

Personal Technologies

Exercise for Health and Human Performance research group within the Sport, Health and Exercise Science subject group.


Abt, G., Bray, J. and Benson, AC. (2018). Measuring Moderate-Intensity Exercise with the Apple Watch: Validation Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research - Cardiology 2(1): e6. DOI:10.2196/cardio.8574.

Weaving, D., Jones, B., Till, K., Abt, G., Beggs, C. (2017) The case for adopting a multivariate approach to optimise training load quantification in team sports. Frontiers in Physiology 8:1024.

Khushhal, A., Nichols, S., Evans, W., Gleadall-Siddall, D., Page, R., O’Doherty, A., Carroll, S., Ingle, L. and Abt, G. (2017). Validity and reliability of the Apple Watch for measuring heart rate during exercise. Sports Medicine International Open, 1, E206-E211.

Abt, G., Bray, J. and Benson, AC (2017). The validity and inter-device variability of the Apple Watch for measuring maximal heart rate. Journal of Sports Sciences, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2017.13972821-6.

Winter E, Abt G, Carl-Brookes F B, Challis J H, Fowler N E, Knudson D V, Knuttgen H G, Kraemer W J, Lane A M, van Mechelen W, Hugh-Morton R, Newton R U, Williams C, and Yeadon M R (2016), 'Misuse of "Power" and Other Mechanical Terms in Sport and Exercise Science Research', Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(1): 292-300.

For a complete list of Dr Abt's publications, follow this link.


Modules list

  • Sports Physiology

  • Exercise Testing and Prescription for Health

Research PhDs

Dr Abt welcomes PhD/MSc applications in the areas of

  • sports physiology - monitoring of training load and performance

  • exercise technology - using technology to monitor physical activity and health

Completed PhDs 

  • Ibrahim Akubat (PhD, 2013)

  • Will Evans (PhD, 2017)

  • Dan Weaving (PhD, 2017)

  • James Bray (PhD, 2018)

  • Gallin Montgomery (PhD, 2018)

Current PhD supervisions 

  • Nikki Bolton, Exercise-induced mitochondrial DNA modification and dietary interventions: implications for muscle health.

  • Alaa Khushhal, The use of wearable technology in cardiac rehabilitation.

  • Richard Taylor, Monitoring training load in rugby union: the dose-response relationship with fitness and fatigue (Newman University, UK).

  • Aimee Evans, Examining player recovery kinetics in professional football (in collaboration with Hull City AFC).

  • Ben Greenhough, The efficacy of virtual reality training in professional football (in collaboration with Hull City AFC).

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BHSc (Human Movement Science)

  • BHMSc (Hons)

  • PhD

External roles

  • Executive Editor, Journal of Sports Sciences