Dr Julia Hill

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Lecturer Physiotherapy

Phone: +64 9 9219999 ext 7641

Postal Address:

Department of Physiotherapy
A-11 School of Clinical Sciences Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences AUT
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand


MSc Manipulative Physiotherapy


Julia has worked at AUT since 2016 and is a lecturer and Program leader (student support). She qualified as a physiotherapist in the UK in 1988 and specialized in the musculoskeletal field working in a number of hospitals and private practices in the UK and Australasia. After completing a MSc in manipulative therapy in 1998, she lectured at the School of Physiotherapy, Sheffield Hallam University before emigrating to Melbourne and then New Zealand in 2003.

Julia has focused primarily on musculoskeletal injuries specializing in back pain and injury prevention in the desk/office work environment. Julia completed a PhD (Monash University, Australia) which investigated low back pain in children.

Teaching Areas:

  • Paper leader Therapeutic Touch in Physiotherapy
  • Supervision of research projects
  • Upper and lower limb musculoskeletal physiotherapy

Research Areas:

  • Low back pain in children
  • Injury prevention in the office environment

Research Summary:

Primary research areas include: low back pain in children, more specifically the risk factors associated with low back pain. Julia’s PhD was unique in that it focused on first onset low back pain specifically in children with the focus on primary prevention. Study was initiated in Australia and published in Australian, American, New Zealand and UK medical journals. Further studies included a movement analysis study of the lumbar spine and a review of method considerations when investigating children in health investigations.

The second area of research is injury prevention in the office environment specifically for people using technological devices who are sitting for long time periods in static positions. Collaboration with an occupational therapist and ergonomist led to the development and trial of an app (Justfidget) designed for use in the office aimed at encouraging regular movement and stretches throughout the working day thus preventing injury.


Current Research Projects:

  • Children and Playground injuries
  • Low back pain in children
  • The use of a smart phone app to support the education of sedentary office workers and reduce risk of MSDs


  • Hill JJ, Foster NE.  (2000) A study investigating the prescription of exercise by physical therapists in the treatment of low back pain. [Society for Back Pain Research and British Cervical Spine Society: London - November 13-14, 1998] Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Volume 82-B Supplement II, 2000, p 98
  • Hill JJ, Keating JL. (2009) A systematic review of the incidence and prevalence of low back pain in children. Physical Therapy Reviews. 14(4):272-284.
  • Hill JJ, Keating JL. (2010) Risk factors for the first episode of low back pain in children are infrequently validated across samples and conditions: a systematic review. J Physiother 56(4):237-244.
  • Hill JJ, Keating JL. (2015) Daily exercises and education for preventing LBP in children: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Physical Therapy. 95(4): 507-16
  • Hill JJ, Keating JL. (2015) Encouraging healthy spine habits to prevent low back pain in children: an observational study of adherence to exercise. Physiotherapy. 2015 pii S0031-9406(15)03807-9 doi 10.1016/j.physio.2015.05.005 (Epub ahead of print)
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