Community Leader Spotlight: Dr. Doug Gleddie

More on the Authorship

Dr. Doug Gleddie wears a number of hats – husband, father and associate professor at the University of Alberta (Faculty of Education, Physical Education). He’s enjoyed a tremendous career that has been anchored throughout by a few things: physical activity/education, working with kids, and how joy fills the spaces inbetween.

Also, he writes a blog called Purposeful Movement, dedicated to (you guessed it) movement with a purpose. You can find out more about Dr. Gleddie and read his blog at In the meantime, he shares a bit about his career and his own health and wellness regime, below.

1. What are you most proud of, in your professional journey, thus far?

Not sure if it's pride exactly, but one of my goals moving into 'academia' was to stay connected with kids, schools and teachers. I never wanted to be one of those profs who had not set foot in a classroom for 20 years. Overall, I think I have stayed true to my goal, as the work that I do is deeply immersed in practice. And I have stayed connected with kids, educators and the school setting in a variety of ways. When I look back at my career, three things were always there regardless of where I was working: physical education/ activity, working with children and youth and, how joy fills the spaces in between. I can't see that changing anytime in the future.

2. What do you hope to accomplish next?

I hope to keep contributing to the field of health and physical education and advocating for quality HPE as an integral aspect of whole child education. How I hope to do that? Continued research and dissemination (peer-reviewed articles, blogs, podcasts, workshops, books, etc.); refinement of our HPE MEd Cohort program to provide professional development, community of practice and opportunities for educators to formalize their growth and learning; establishment of a research Centre for Healthy Schools at the University of Alberta. (Cohort 2 applications are due Dec 1, 2019!)

3. Where does your love for health and fitness come from?

I'll amend that to a love for, and joy in, movement. Health and fitness are secondary outcomes to the primary focus. I think the love of movement is in every child born on this planet. However, it is a fragile and precious thing that can be lost or taken away quite easily – and unfortunately, often is. I was fortunate to grow up on a farm where I had a half-section as my playground and the freedom to move and play on my own terms. Ultimately, that kid playing on the farm is still a deep part of who I am. My parents certainly played a role in facilitating that freedom and I have been able to maintain an intrinsic love for and joy in movement across four decades (so far so good!).

4. What 3 words would your colleagues and friends use to describe you?

Passionate, relational and fun!

5. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

"Don't become a cop – you're too big a target." (From my Dad.)

6. What career might you be in now, if you weren't doing what you are doing now?

Something outdoors – conservation officer or a guide?

7. What do you do to take care of your own health and wellness?

As much mountain biking and snowboarding as I can, some guitar picking, getting outside as much as possible, lots of walking and a bit of dancing.