Senior researcherSandra Haider, BSc, MSc, PhD

About Sandra Haider

Sandra studied sports science and nutrition at the University of Vienna (Austria). During her studies, she worked on a project aiming to improve physical activity levels in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Within this project she developed a cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna (Austria), where she also started her doctorate in Endocrinology in 2013. In her PhD project, she focused on a community intervention to improve the nutritional status and physical activity levels in non-institutionalised older adults with frailty. At the same time her clinical focus shifted to neuro-rehabilitation, as she started to work as an exercise therapist focusing on training and gait analyses at the Neurological Rehabilitation Centre “Rosenhügel” in Vienna. In 2021 she also finished her “Habilitation” in Public Health, focusing on physical activity in older adults. Sandra is passionate about creating opportunities and environments that promote healthy living through optimal nutrition and physical activity.

An active community is a healthy community. The only way to ensure sustainable development is to make sure we ensure enough opportunities for physical activity and optimal nutrition for all.
Sandra Haider


Areas of interest

Physical activity, exercise rehabilitation, human nutrition, nutritional status, public health

Work experience

Since 03.2013: Medical University of Vienna, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Centre for Public Health: research and teaching.

2014-2023: Neurological Rehabilitation Centre Rosenhügel, Functional diagnostics & training therapy: performance of stance and gait analyses and conducting training therapies.

2010-2014: SPORTUNION Austria, Health Department of an Austrian Sports Federation: Organisation of Health Sports Units

Highlighted Publications

Haider S, et al. (2021) Associations between Physical Activity, Sitting Time, and Time Spent Outdoors with Mental Health during the First COVID-19 Lock Down in Austria. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 18, doi:10.3390/ijerph18179168.

Haider S, et al. (2020). Health Care Providers’ Advice on Lifestyle Modification for Older Adults. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 21(3):361-366.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2019.07.019.

Haider S, et al. (2019). Frailty in seropositive rheumatoid arthritis patients of working age: a cross-sectional study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 37(4): 585-592. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Haider S, et al. (2017). Impact of Home Visits with a Physical and Nutritional Intervention Program Conducted by Non-Professionals on Handgrip Strength, Physical Performance, and Muscle Mass in Prefrail and Frail Older Adults. PLoS one. 12(1):e0169613. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169613.

Haider S, et al. (2016). Associations between daily physical activity, handgrip strength, muscle mass, physical performance and quality of life in prefrail and frail community-dwelling older adults. Qual Life Res. 25(12):3129-3138. doi: 10.1007/s11136-016-1349-8.

Professional membership

Austrian Public Health Association

Achievements and awards

2021: Habilitation (venia docendi) in Public Health.

2018: 1st poster prize “German Sleep Society” (DGSM).

2017: 2nd prize Veronika Fialka Moser Diversity Award.

2017: 3rd poster prize “German Sleep Society” (DGSM).

2016: Travel grant “German Society for Social Medicine and Prevention” (DGSMP).

2015: Ministry of Social Affairs: Good Practice Project in Senior Citizens’ Education.

2015: Vienna Health Award 2015: Healthy in the Grätzel and District.

Selected lectures/seminars

Influencing factors on physical activity behaviour –> No time or a matter of priority?

Health promoting physical activity: theoretical and practical knowledge.

Nutrition in geriatrics.

What body weight is already normal?

Seminar Lifestyle Interventions


2013–2017: PhD-Doctoral Program Endocrinology and Metabolism, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

2005–2012: Bachelor and Master Program Sports Science, University of Vienna, Austria

2005–2012: Bachelor Program Nutritional Science, University of Vienna, Austria