Michael CHIA


Physical Education & Sports Science (PESS)

Office Location


PhD (Sport & Health Sciences) Exeter University, UK, 1998

BSc [Honours Class 1] (PE & Sports Science) Loughborough University, UK, 1991

Diploma in Physical Education [Distinction] College of PE, Singapore, 1986


Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
Paediatric Exercise Physiology, physical (in)activity and fitness, physical education and youth sport

  • Designation
    • Professor
    • Faculty Staff Mentor
    Service Appointments - International
    • Founder member, International Forum for Research in Education (IFORE)
    • Executive Board Member, Asia-Pacific Association of Coaching Science (AACS)
    • Executive Board Member, Asia Council of Exercise and Sport Science (ACESS)
    • Academic Member, Athens Institute for Education & Research (ATIER)
    • Past Vice-President, ACESS
    • Past Vice-President, Education Research Association of Singapore (ERAS)
    • Life member, Singapore Physical Education Association
    • On editorial board of more than 30 journals in PE, sport science, medicine & health
    Service Appointments - National
    • Steering Committee of the NTU Senate
    • Board of Directors for the Singapore Sports School
    • Chairman of the Ethics Review Board for Research for Sport Singapore
    • ACCORD Educational Institutional Council
    • Advisory Board for Singapore Sailing
    • Vice-chairman of the Beacon Primary School Advisory Board (4th term)
    Visiting Appointments
    • Visiting Professor to Coimbra University, Portugal. 1 September to 30 October 2017 (Official sabbatical)
    • Visiting Professor to Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. 1 September to 1 October 2016 (Official sabbatical)
    • Visiting Research Scholar to Chukyo University, Nagoya, Japan. 1 May 2009 to 31 July 2009 (Official sabbatical)
    • Visiting Professor to Chinese Culture University, Taipei. 1 September 2008 to 31 Jan 2009. (Official sabbatical)

    Professor Michael Chia is Professor of Paediatric Exercise Science at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) where he served as the Dean for Faculty Affairs for 7 years (July 2011 to June 2018). He previously headed the Physical Education and Sports Science Group (July 2006-June 2010) and was concurrently, the Chairman of the NTU Healthy Lifestyle committee (2005-2010). Academic peers nominated and elected him to the University Senate and he served two consecutive terms (2014-2016), where he chaired the Committee for University Development.

    Academic and Professional Qualifications
    Professor Michael Chia received his doctorate in Paediatric Exercise Physiology from Exeter University in the United Kingdom (UK), jointly on an Association of Commonwealth Universities Academic Staff Scholarship and a Nanyang University of Technology Staff Development Scholarship in 1995. He was conferred a First Class degree with honours in Physical Education and Sports Science from Loughborough University in the UK in 1991 on an Independent School scholarship and a Distinction Diploma in Physical Education and a Distinction Teacher of Physical Education Award from the College of Physical Education in Singapore in the inaugural intake of 1984. Professionally, he is an internationally British Association of Sports Science-certified sport scientist for exercise physiology research and an American College of Sports Medicine-certified Health and Fitness Director. Professor Michael Chia also has a Diploma in Seamanship from the Outward Bound School of Hong Kong.

    Research Expertise
    Professor Michael Chia is internationally renowned for his research in physical inactivity, fitness and sport in youth and school-based interventions to increase physical activity, exercise and positive physical education and sport experiences. He contributed his expertise in the formulation of physical activity guidelines for youths(Health Promotion Board, Singapore) and Youth Athlete Development in Sport (International Olympic Medical Commission, Switzerland).

    Noteworthy Research Projects
    Professor Michael Chia is published widely in the field of paediatric exercise science and medicine and won a global Research Commendation Award for PRIDE for PLAY (a school-based project to increase physical activity in schools), from the World Leisure Organization that is based in the USA. He is actively researching on physical inactivity as a barrier and inhibitor of learning throughout the schooling lifespan and innovative programmes break up sedentary time to curb its entrenchment. He is currently the principal investigator of two signature research projects: “High intensity interval training to make a hit on learning, fitness & health in primary and secondary schools in Singapore” and “A surveillance study on digital media habits, physical activity and life quality of Singapore preschoolers”.

    Professional Service
    Professor Michael Chia served as Chairman of the Research Ethics Committee for Sport Singapore for two years (2016-2018) and remains a member of the committee. He is on the Board of Directors for the Singapore Sports School and on the advisory boards for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Singapore Sports Institute, Singapore Sailing and Beacon Primary School. Internationally, he is a founder member of the International Forum for Research in Education, and an executive board member of the Asia-Pacific Association of Coaching Science, an academic fellow of the Athens Institute of Education and Research and past-Vice Presidents for the Asian Council of Exercise and Sports Science and the Education Research Association of Singapore.

    Awards and Academic Recognition
    Professor Michael Chia is a recipient of teaching, research and service awards from his university and from international organisations. He received National Day Awards for his leadership in administration and contribution to the Ministry of Education- the Public Service Medal and the Long Service Medals, in 2016 and the Education Leadership Award from CMO Asia at the eighth Asia Education Excellence Conference in 2017. In 2018, he received the Friends of the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth Award. Professor Michael Chia held visiting professorial and visiting researcher stints at Chukyo University and Waseda University in Japan, Chinese Culture University and University of Taipei in Taiwan, Chung Ann University in South Korea and Wollongong University in Australia.

    Professor Michael Chia embraces his appointments and assignments with grace and gratitude in his professional and personal quest to make a meaningful difference to his institution, country and the international community.

    • British Association of Sport Science-research-accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (Physiology-Research), 1998
    • American College of Sport Medicine-certified Health & Fitness Director®, 1998
    • Diploma in Seamanship, Hong Kong Outward Bound School, 1995

  • Graduate Student Supervision (as sole supervisor)-100% pass rate
    • Dr Haresh Suppiah, PhD (2016). Nanyang President Scholar. Adolescent sleep and sport performance. Sport physiologist. National Youth Sport Institute. 
    • Dr Abdul Rashid Aziz, PhD (2016). Ramadan fasting and exercise performance. Head. Sports Medicine Unit, Sport Singapore. 
    • Dr Swarup Mukherjee, MD, PhD (2008). Repeated sprint performance and selected biochemical markers of professional soccer players in Singapore. PESS Assistant Professor.
    • Dr Yvonne Wang, MD, MSc (2007). Validity and reliability of pedometer assessment in a 30 minute physical education lesson and during 30 minute recess. Research Scientist.
    • Dr Lee Kok Sonk, PhD (2006). Physical Activity and health in adolescents. Remote co-supervisor for University of Queensland. Head Talent Identification. CCAB. Vice-Principal.
    • Dr Jamie Lim, PhD (2006) Assessment of and recovery from maximal intermittent sprinting in untrained male and female adults. Director of Operations, Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
    • Ms Tan Gek Han, MSc (2006) Impact of cardiac rehabilitation programme on the leisure time physical activity of heart patients. Lecturer, School of Nursing, Nanyang Polytechnic.
    • Dr Hu Qichen, PhD (2004) Effect of different modes of treadmill exercise on the immune function of red blood cells. Former Lecturer, University of Macau and now Assistant Professor, Shanghai University, China.
    • Dr Frankie Tan, MSc (2002), PhD (2010) Reliability and validity of a maximal stair-climb test for Singapore. Head Exercise Physiologist, Sport Singapore.
    • Dr Lee Kok Sonk, MSc (2001), PhD (2008) Exercise performance of boys with moderate intellectual disability. Head Sport Talent Unit, CCAB, MOE.
    • Dr Violette Lin, PhD (2000) Efficacy of year-long exercise programme on overweight children. Post-doctoral fellow in the University Otago, New Zealand.

  • For research and scholarship
    • 2010 World Leisure International Innovation Prize - highly commended award for PRIDE for PLAY. August 2010.
    • Finalist, Young Investigator Award. Pediatric Work Physiology Conference, 1997. Moretahempsted. United Kingdom.
    • Association of Commonwealth Universities Academic Staff Development Award, United Kingdom to read Paediatric Exercise Science at Exeter University, UK, 1995 -1998.
    • NTU Staff Development Award, Singapore to read Paediatric Exercise Science at Exeter University, UK, 1995 -1998.
    • Undergraduate Scholarship (St Joseph’s Institution, Singapore) to Loughborough University of Technology (UK) to read Physical Education & Sports Science. Singapore, 1989-1990.
    • Best Diploma Student, College of Physical Education, Singapore, 1986.
    For teaching
    • Excellence in Teaching Commendation Award, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2003.
    • Excellence in Teaching Commendation Award, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2002.
    • Excellence in Teaching Commendation Award, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2001.
    • Distinction Teacher of Physical Education, College of Physical Education, Singapore, 1986.
    For leadership and service
    • National Day Award, Public Administration Medal (Bronze), August 2016.
    • National Day Award, Long Service Medal, August 2016.
    • Service to Education - School Board Award, September 2014.
    • National HEALTH Award 2010 - Gold. November 2010.
    • National HEALTH Award 2008 - Silver. September 2008.
    • NIE/NTU Long Service Award (15 years) 30 June 2006.
    • NTU Tenure (T65) Award. 1 January 2006.
    • Overseas Youth Leader Award (Outward Bound Hong Kong), Ministry of Community Development, Singapore, 1994.
    Dean's Commendation for Research
    • NIE Dean's Commendation Award for Research - Mr Haresh Suppiah (supervisee of Professor Michael Chia). 2013 (1 paper), 2016 (1 paper)
    • NIE Dean's Commendation Award for Research - Mr Abdul Rashid Aziz (supervisee of Professor Michael Chia). 2010 (1 paper); 2011 (2 papers); 2013 (2 papers).
    • NIE Dean's Commendation Award for Research - Dr Swarup Mukherjee (supervisee of Professor Michael Chia). 2008 (1 paper).
    Research Grants (last 3 years only)
    Title   Involvement  Grant
    An NIE-NTU innovation device for assessing sitting and non-sitting behaviours of participants in the computation of a sit-non-sit index (SNSI)  Principal investigator  NIE AcRF, &99,000 Submitted 
     NIE SMiLeS - sitting made in time to be less sedentary Principal Investigator  RS-SAA grant. $120,000
    Fully accomplished
     Holistic development of Singapore Sports School student-athletes - a baseline and tracking study Principal Investigator   RS-SAA grant. $120,000
    Fully accomplished
     Hydration and fluid replenishment knowledge of heat acclimatized youth athletes and coaches  Principal Investigator  OER Grant $249,986 
    Fully accomplished
     Physical inactivity, physical fitness, metabolic status and academic performance amongst secondary school students in Singapore   Principal Investigator  OER Grant $249,950
    Fully accomplished
     Making explicit the implicit - Holistic development of primary school pupils through the integration of physical education and health education - the Beacon Experience   Principal Investigator  AcRF Grant 84,700
    Fully accomplished
     PRIDE for PLAY: promotion and evaluation the school-based evidence  Principal Investigator  RS-SAA $90,000
    Fully accomplished
     Healthy, well and wise: take personal responsibility in daily effort for a lifetime of wellness  Principal Investigator  ARIEF $60,000
    Fully accomplished
     Sports Science in Sporting Success  Principal Investigator  ARIEF $72,325
    Fully accomplished


  • Exercise hydration
    • Drinking isn't hydration. Channel News Asia documentary. 28 June 2015.
    • Liquid Assets: Stop Neglecting and Start Respecting the Daily Intake of Water. 11 March 2008. Today.
    Physical Education & Physical Inactivity
    • Power Play: More kids are joining unconventional fitness programmes which push them to their limits. Mind Your Body. 5 Feb 2015.
    • Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) interviews NIE dons about Physical Education & Sport Science in Singapore. 15 December 2014.
    • Health risk for Singapore teens - they are not active enough: Study. Straits Times. 15 February 2014.
    • Sitting can kill you. Feature article about sedentary time. Mind Your Body. Straits Times. 15 November 2012.
    Personal Responsibility in Daily Effort (PRIDE) for Participation in Lifetime Physical Activity for Youths (PLAY)
    • Taking play seriously. http://www.schoolbag.sg. MOE online portal. 15 May 2012.
    • Jurongville Secondary School. PRIDE for PLAY. http://www.schoolbag.sg. MOE online portal. 23 April 2012.
    • Lessons from the playground. Interview write-up on PRIDE for PLAY in Research in Education. 5, 2012.
    • Importance of play in schools. 93.8 Live Radio interview. 27 April 2007.
    • PRIDE for PLAY. 93.8 Live and Capital radio interview. 23 Jan 2006.
    HealthTrek Information Tracking System
    • HealthTrek Information Tracking System. News Radio 93.8 FM interview. 21 April 2002.



  • Trademarked Products (selected recent only)

    Michael Chia, Project leader and co-developer of web-based application, Sports Science in Sporting Success™ Registered Trademark Number (Singapore): T03/15772Z in Class 4. Subscribed by schools and the National Library Board. Registered on World Business Directory in 2008. Till 2023.

    General Monographs (selected recent only)

    Chia M (contributed foreword, 2014). Improving Nutrition for Adolescent Girls in Asia and the Middle East: Innovations are needed. Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.

     Sloan RA, Chia M, O’Mucheartaigh C, Gorny A, Yeo, C, Blair S, Lee I-Min, Sawada S, Ong A, Lim BH, Laukkanen R, Tong KL, Wong ML, Chan MF, Lim MT, Tan P, Ismail NH, Choo L, Poon G. National Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Adolescents (2014). Health Promotion Board. Ministry of Health, Singapore.

     Sloan RA, Chia M, O’Mucheartaigh C, Gorny A, Yeo, C, Blair S, Lee I-Min, Sawada S, Ong A, Lim BH, Laukkanen R, Tong KL, Wong ML, Chan MF, Lim MT, Tan P, Ismail NH, Choo L, Poon G (2012). National Physical Activity Guidelines for Singaporeans: Professional Guide. Health Promotion Board. Ministry of Health, Singapore. http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/10368

    Technical Grant Monographs (selected recent only)

    Michael Chia et al. Hydration and fluid replacement knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of heat-acclimatized Singaporean youths. Final report OER 22/10 MC. Includes resource material- Hydration for Champions. ISBN: 978-981-09-2850-6. 30 November 2014.

    Michael Chia et al. The holistic development of youth who participate in sport in Singapore. Final report RS 2/12MC. ISBN: 978-981-1270-9.

    Michael Chia et al. Inactivity, Fitness, metabolic Status and academic performance of Secondary School Students in Singapore. Final report OER 16/09 MC. ISBN: 978-981-5456-3. 1 August 2013.

    Michael Chia et al. Making the implicit EXPLICIT©. Final report RI 5/09 MC. ISBN: 978-981-07-3766-5. December 2012.

    Michael Chia. PRIDE for PLAY©. Final report RS 2/08 CYH. ISBN: 978-981-07-1258-7. February 2012.

    Michael Chia. Fitness-activity-inactivity of Singaporean Youths. ISBN: 978-981-1270-9. February 2012.