Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Natalie Connor is a post-doctoral research associate and is currently working on a number of public health related projects exploring mental health and employment, approaches to wellbeing, the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity and lifestyle interventions for individuals with a high BMI. Natalie has a degree in Psychology and an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Northumbria University. Her PhD at Durham University was completed whilst working for a local charity called Groundwork North East, with the title 'Exploring community gardening as a complex public health intervention: an action research study'. Natalie's research interests lie within the areas of public health, coproduction, physical inactivity, intervention development and health and wellbeing. She is particularly keen on the use of coproduction to help develop and evaluate interventions.

Since 2016, Natalie has worked as an embedded researcher within the public health team at Durham County Council. In this role, she works alongside public health practitioners to evaluate public health interventions and provide recommendations to help guide policy and planning. For the last three years, Natalie has also worked for Tees Valley Sport developing local and regional insight to help inform policy around physical inactivity. In this role, Natalie worked as part of a team to develop and evaluate a lifestyle intervention aimed at women with a high BMI who would like to undergo fertility treatment. She also led the development of the EPIC report - 'England's physically inactive coast; turning the tide on physical inactivity rates', on behalf of the North East Coastal Active Partnerships group (NECAP). 

Natalie has been a member of the North East Obesity Forum for the past two years and has been a member of the Fuse Physical Activity Network planning group since its inception in 2014.

Summary of Research Interests

Public health


Physical inactivty

Intervention development 

Health and wellbeing

Research Projects & External Funding

Current projects:

Evaluation of County Durham's Mental Health Employment Practitioner Service

Evaluation of the development and roll out of the Mental Health Alliance Contract across County Durham

SPHR Healthy Places, Healthy Planet

A lifestyle intervention to improve the health and wellbeing of women with raised body max index and infertility - the LIFT Project

The impact of COVID-19 on physical activity behaviours across the North East


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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