Dr Mitchell Gibbs

Dr Mitchell Gibbs


PhD - 2021 Western Sydney University

MRes - 2017 Western Sydney University

BHlthSc(Sp&ExSc) - 2015 Western Sydney University


Medicine & Health
School of Health Sciences

Dr Mitchell Gibbs is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Health Sciences at the University of New South Wales. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Exercise Science, a Master of Research, and a PhD from Western Sydney University. Mitchell’s research focuses on back pain, mainly, the use of active interventions (exercise and education) under a biopsychosocial framework. Mitchell teaches/convenes musculoskeletal rehabilitation and strength and conditioning for Exercise Science/Physiology students at UNSW. Mitchell is an Accredited Exercise Scientist and Strength Coach with 10-years in the industry. Mitchell continues to consult on complex pain cases and in some pro-sport settings.

Level 2, Wallace Wurth Building
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Azer G; Gibbs MT; Jones MD; Morrison NMV; Azer A; Marshall PW, 2024, 'How and why do people with chronic low back pain modify their physical activity? A mixed-methods survey', Musculoskeletal Care, 22, pp. e1885, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/msc.1885
    Journal articles | 2024
    Gibbs MT; Last T; Marshall P; Jones MD, 2024, 'Are the attitudes and beliefs of Australian exercise-based practitioners associated with their use of, and confidence in, treatment modalities for people with chronic low back pain?', Musculoskeletal Care, 22, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/msc.1852
    Journal articles | 2024
    Gilanyi YL; Shah B; Cashin AG; Gibbs MT; Bellamy J; Day R; McAuley JH; Jones MD; McAuley J; Bellamy J; Gibbs M, 2024, 'Barriers and enablers to exercise adherence in people with nonspecific chronic low back pain: a systematic review of qualitative evidence.', Pain, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000003234
    Journal articles | 2024
    Jones MD; Clifford BK; Stamatakis E; Gibbs MT, 2024, 'Exercise Snacks and Other Forms of Intermittent Physical Activity for Improving Health in Adults and Older Adults: A Scoping Review of Epidemiological, Experimental and Qualitative Studies', Sports Medicine, 54, pp. 813 - 835, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-023-01983-1
    Journal articles | 2024
    Natoli A; Jones MD; Long V; Mouatt B; Walker ED; Gibbs MT, 2024, 'How do people with chronic low back pain perceive specific and general exercise? A mixed methods survey', Pain Practice, 24, pp. 739 - 748, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/papr.13354
    Journal articles | 2023
    Gibbs MT; Hayden JA; Cashin AG; Shah B; Gilanyi YL; Natoli A; Holmes G; Ogilvie R; Hagstrom AD; McAuley JH; Marshall PW; Jones MD; Hagstrom M, 2023, 'Are Exercise Interventions in Clinical Trials for Chronic Low Back Pain Dosed Appropriately to Meet the World Health Organization's Physical Activity Guidelines?', Physical Therapy, 104, pp. pzad114, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzad114
    Journal articles | 2023
    Gibbs MT; Morrison NMV; Jones MD; Burgess D; Marshall PW, 2023, 'Reductions in movement-associated fear are dependent upon graded exposure in chronic low back pain: An exploratory analysis of a modified 3-item fear hierarchy', Musculoskeletal Care, 21, pp. 25 - 34, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/msc.1661
    Journal articles | 2023
    Pandit A; Tran TB; Letton M; Cowley E; Gibbs M; Wewege MA; Hagstrom AD, 2023, 'Data Informing Governing Body Resistance-Training Guidelines Exhibit Sex Bias: An Audit-Based Review', Sports Medicine, 53, pp. 1681 - 1691, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-023-01878-1
    Journal articles | 2023
    Ram A; Booth J; Thom JM; Gibbs MT; Jones MD, 2023, 'Are Improvements in Pain Neurophysiology Knowledge Following Pain Science Education Associated with Improved Outcomes in People with Chronic Pain?: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis', Clinical Journal of Pain, 39, pp. 41 - 52, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000001086
    Journal articles | 2023
    Ram AK; Summers SJ; Booth J; Gibbs MT; Jones MD, 2023, 'Higher intensity exercise reduces disability more than lower intensity exercise in adults with chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Musculoskeletal Care, 21, pp. 611 - 622, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/msc.1734
    Journal articles | 2022
    Gibbs M; Morrison N; Raftry S; Jones M; Marshall P, 2022, 'Does a powerlifting inspired exercise programme better compliment pain education compared to bodyweight exercise for people with chronic low back pain? A multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial', Clinical Rehabilitation, 36, pp. 1199 - 1213, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02692155221095484
    Journal articles | 2022
    Gibbs MT; Morrison NMV; Marshall PW, 2022, 'Education Improves Decision-Making of Exercise Physiologists Regarding Low Back Pain', Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, 11, pp. 12 - 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.31189/2165-6193-11.1.12
    Journal articles | 2022
    Marshall PW; Morrison NMV; Gibbs M; Schabrun SM, 2022, 'The effect of exercise engagement on low back disability at 12-months is mediated by pain and catastrophizing in a community sample of people with chronic low back pain', Behaviour Research and Therapy, 159, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2022.104205
    Journal articles | 2021
    Gibbs MT; Morrison NMV; Marshall PWM, 2021, 'Biomedical Beliefs Explain the Clinical Decisions Made by Exercise-Based Practitioners for People With Chronic Low Back Pain', Spine, 46, pp. 114 - 121, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003698
    Journal articles | 2021
    Marshall PW; Morrison NMV; Mifsud A; Gibbs M; Khan N; Meade T, 2021, 'The Moderating Effect of Treatment Engagement on Fear-avoidance Beliefs in People with Chronic Low Back Pain', Clinical Journal of Pain, 37, pp. 872 - 880, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000991
    Journal articles | 2018
    Gibbs MT; Marshall PWM, 2018, 'Buy-In for Back Pain: Does Individualization Matter?', Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, 7, pp. 82 - 93, http://dx.doi.org/10.31189/2165-6193-7.4.82
  • Conference Presentations | 2023
    Gibbs M, 2023, 'A biopsychosocial approach to exercise and movement - An interactive practical session', presented at Australian Pain Society 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra, 02 April 2023 - 05 April 2023
    Conference Presentations | 2022
    Gibbs M, 2022, 'How do we design exercise for CLBP under a biopsychosocial framework', presented at ESSA Research to Practice, 19 May 2022
    Conference Presentations | 2022
    Gibbs M, 2022, 'Improvements in movement-associated fear are conditional upon engagement with the movement in Chronic Low Back Pain: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial', presented at ESSA Research to Practice, 19 May 2022
    Theses / Dissertations | 2021
    Gibbs M, 2021, Exercise-Based Biopsychosocial Management of Chronic Low Back Pain, http://hdl.handle.net/1959.7/uws:62942

Associate Investigator:

2023-2026: CAPACITY: A telehealth, effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial to increase physical activity in adults with chronic low back pain (MRFF2023932, $1,384,136) - Led by Dr Matthew Jones 

My research program seeks to understand how exercise can be best integrated into the management of chronic pain under a biopsychosocial framework. My work focuses on investigating the efficacy of exercise and education interventions for people with chronic pain, including those with comorbid presentations. Additionally, I am interested in practitioner-focussed research to understand the barriers of these approaches to being utilised in clinical practice.

As an Accredited Exercise Scientists and Strength and Conditioning coach, with 10-yrs of clinical/practical experience, I also collaborate on several resistance training research projects. Overarchingly, I see my research as trying to combine understanding of clinical and strength and conditioning settings.

2023 'Exercise as part of a Biopsychosocial approach to pain' - Be Strong Physio Podcast

2023 'How often should I change my Exercise Program' - The Conversation - coauthored with Dr Mandy Hagstrom

​2023 Biopsychosocial Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain - ESSA Webinar

2022 Rethinking Exercise for Low Back Pain - UNSW Newsroom 

2022 ABC radio interview - Powerlifting for low back pain?

​2021 Biomedical Beliefs and Clinical Decision Making - Understanding Sports and Exercise Medicine Research Show

​2019 Learning from pain - TEDx

My Research Supervision

PhD candidate:

Adrian Ram: What are Exercise Physiologists saying? Developing targeted pain neuroscience education to improve exercise outcomes for knee osteoarthritis

Andrew Natoli: Exploring the effectiveness and mechanisms of pain education and patient-led goal setting to increase physical activity and reduce blood pressure in adults with chronic low back pain

Emily Walker: Does pain education and patient-led goal setting increase physical activity and reduce blood pressure more than guideline care in people with chronic low back pain?

Master of Research candidate 

Grant Holmes: Accuracy of different methods of predicting proximity to failure during resistance training?


My Teaching

Dr Mitchell Gibbs convenes HESC3501 Advanced Exercise Science and EXPT3152 Musculoskeletal Movement Rehabilitation. Mitch is also leading development for EXPT2169 Strength and Conditioning. 

Mitch's vast practical experience as both a practitioner working with people facing MSK pain conditions and as a strength and conditioning coach greatly inform his teaching approach. Mitch firmly believes in the importance of translating research to practice and has this as a cornerstone of his teaching approach, with learning opportunities designed around practical competency and critical thinking. Mitch is an advocate of exploring learning opportunities relevant to new-grads, such as the use of social media (SoMe) for dissemination of information. Mitch has pioneered SoMe-informed assessment modes, presenting these at faculty level. 

Learn more about Dr Mitch's teaching here: https://myeducationportfolio.unsw.edu.au/profile/798