Dr Joseph Firth

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

View graph of relations


Dr Joseph Firth

Current Positions Held:

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K.

Honorary Fellow, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.

Honorary Fellow, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, U.K.



Dr. Joseph Firth completed his PhD (Medicine) at the University of Manchester, U.K and has a BSc (1st Hons) in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, U.K.

Dr Joseph Firth's current research primarily focuses on the use of digital technologies and physical health interventions for improving both physical and mental health outcomes in people living with mental illness.


Research & Impact:

  • Published >200 peer-reviewed articles in international research journals, including the top-ranked medical journals, such as The BMJ, American Journal of Psychiatry, The Lancet Psychiatry, World Psychiatry, The New England Journal of Medicine, etc

  • Extensive media engagement, with first-author publications receiving coverage from >700 news outlets (including Times, Forbes, CNN, etc.) along with televised interviews on Sky News and BBC television.

  • Recipient of the Clarivate™ Highly Cited Researcher award (for ranking in the top 1% for citations by field in 2020), and an ExpertScape "World Expert", for ranking in the Top 10 researchers globally in field

  • Lead author of the 2019 Lancet Commission on ‘Protecting Physical Health in People with Mental Illness’.

  • Member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2020 Global Physical Activity Guidelines group, and co-author for the WHOs “2020 Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour”.

Dr. Firth's ongoing projects focus on developing and evaluating digital health interventions for helping young people with mental health conditions to engage in regular exercise, and to adopt healthy lifestyles. 


Select Publications


Firth, J., Solmi, M., Wootton, R. E., et al. 2020.
A meta‐review of “lifestyle psychiatry”: the role of exercise, smoking, diet and sleep in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. World Psychiatry19(3), 360-380.

Torous J, Myrick K, Rauseo-Ricupero N, Firth J. 2020
Digital mental health and COVID-19: using technology today to accelerate the curve on access and quality tomorrow. JMIR mental health7(3), e18848.

Firth, J., Siddiqi, N., Koyanagi, A., et al. 2019.
The Lancet Psychiatry Commission: a blueprint for protecting physical health in people with mental illness. The Lancet Psychiatry6(8), 675-712.

Bull FC, Al-Ansari S, Biddle S,...Firth J, et al. 2020.
World Health Organization 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviourBritish Journal of Sports Medicine54(24), 1451-1462.

Firth, J., Torous J., Stubbs B, et al. 2019. 
The “online brain”: how the Internet may be changing our cognition. World Psychiatry18:119-29.


External positions

Honorary Fellow, Western Sydney University

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • Digital Health, Mental Health, Physical Activity, Nutrition, mHealth, Psychosis, Mental Illness, Exercise, eHealth, Multimorbidity, Syndemics, Mental Wellbeing

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2017 - Doctor of Medicine, The University of Manchester
  • 2013 - Bachelor of Science in Psychology The University of Sheffield

Related information