University of Zagreb

Faculty of Kinesiology

About employee

doc. dr. sc. Hrvoje Podnar

Title: Assistant professor

Public phone number:
Internal phone number:
Department :
Department of General and Applied Kinesiology
Graduation year:
PhD graduation year:
Employed in this institution since:


Students' poll results

Average teacher evaluation survey score for the winter semester 2018/19 (n=93)

M = 4.81, SD=0.51


Dr. Hrvoje Podnar is an associate professor at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb. His research is focused on promoting the health and physical activity of children and youth, particularly on studying the relationship between physical activity and academic success. He is also involved in designing a system for monitoring physical fitness aimed at improving the physical literacy of students. He is one of the leaders of the ERASMUS+ project, whose goal is to design a platform for tracking students' physical fitness and providing purposeful feedback with the aim of increasing the physical literacy of children and youth.

He researches the prevalence of physical activity and sedentary behavior and designs and evaluates interventions to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior. He has published around 50 scientific and professional articles in local and international journals and conference proceedings. His contribution in the field of kinesiology also includes evaluating the activities of European sports organizations aimed at implementing health-oriented physical activity programs in EU member states.


  • 2011 – 2015: Doctoral Postgraduate Study, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb (average grade 5.0)
  • 2005 – 2010: Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb (average grade 4.78)

Teaching. Since 2016, he has been conducting regular teaching at the university study of kinesiology at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, full-time. Average teacher evaluation survey score for the winter semester 2018/19 (n=93) – 4.81±0.51. He also occasionally teaches at the doctoral study of kinesiology at the same faculty.

Organization of Scientific Conferences. Duties in the organization include organizing, leading, and evaluating the work of the section, coordinating the review process, report preparation, awarding the best papers.

  • 2023: Member of the program committee and editor of the Education section at the 31st International Summer School of Kinesiologists.
  • 2021: Editor of the scientific section Physical Education – 9th International Scientific Conference on Kinesiology
  • 2017: Editor of the scientific section Physical Education – 8th International Scientific Conference on Kinesiology

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2016: Dean's Award for the best doctoral student in kinesiology (average grade 5.0)
  • 2015: Award for the 2nd best poster presentation at the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Exercise and Sports Science (APCESS 2015), Manav Rachna International University, India
  • 2011: Second on the ranking list of applicants for the doctoral postgraduate study
  • 2011: Best professional paper at the 20th summer school of kinesiologists, Poreč, Croatia
  • 2010: Among the top 10% of the most successful graduates in 2010 (average grade 4.78)
  • 2005 - 2010: Scholarship from the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports for gifted students

Published papers recorded in the Croatian Scientific Bibliography Database (CROSBI)

Note: this list of papers is located in an maintained by the Ruđer Bošković Institute which is in charge of the Croatian Scientific Bibliography Database (CROSBI). This link will take you to the appropriate CROSBI page of this person, containing a list of papers they have themselves entered in the database.
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List of select publications

  1. Carraro, A., Santi, G., Colangelo, A., Mäestu, J., Milošević, V., Morrison, S.A., Olvera‑Rojas, M., Podnar, H., Jurak, G. (2023) Usability evaluation of the international FitBack web portal for monitoring youth fitness. Sport sciences for health. doi: (izvorni znanstveni rad)
  2. Matolić, T., Jurakić, D., Podnar, H., Radman, I. & Pedišić, Ž. (2023) Promotion of health-enhancing physical activity in the sport sector: a study among representatives of 536 sports organisations from 36 European countries. BMC Public Health, 23 (1), 750, 9 doi:10.1186/s12889-023-15589-9.
  3. Pedišić, Ž., Strika, M., Matolić, T., Sorić, M., Šalaj, S., Dujić, I., Rakovac, M., Radičević, B., Podnar, H., Greblo Jurakić, Z., Jerković, M., Radašević, H., Čvrljak, J., Petračić, T., Musić Milanović, S., Lang Morović, M., Krtalić, S., Milić, M., Papić, A., Momčinović, N., Mišigoj-Duraković, M., Heimer, S. & Jurakić, D. (2023) Physical Activity of Children and Adolescents in Croatia: A Global Matrix 4.0 Systematic Review of Its Prevalence and Associated Personal, Social, Environmental, and Policy Factors. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, Ahead of Print, 1123, 13 doi:10.1123/jpah.2022-0500.
  4. Martinko, A., Karuc, J., Jurić, P., Podnar, H. & Sorić, M. (2022) Accuracy and Precision of Consumer-Grade Wearable Activity Monitors for Assessing Time Spent in Sedentary Behavior in Children and Adolescents: Systematic Review. JMIR mhealth and uhealth, 10 (8) doi:10.2196/37547.
  5. Korcz, A., Krzysztoszek, J., Łopatka, M., Popeska, B., Podnar, H., Filiz, B., Mileva, E., Kryeziu, A.R., Bronikowski, M. (2021). Physical Education Teachers’ Opinion about Online Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic—Comparative Study of European Countries. Sustainability, 2021, 13, 11730.
  6. Podnar, H., Jurić P., Karuc J., Saez, M., Barceló, M.A., Radman, I., Starc, G., Jurak, G. Đurić, S., Potočnik, Ž.L., Sorić, M. (2021). Comparative effectiveness of school-based interventions targeting physical activity, physical fitness or sedentary behaviour on obesity prevention in 6-12-year-old children: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 22:e13160,
  7. Karuc, J., Mišigoj-Duraković, M., Marković, G., Hadžić, V., Duncan, M., Podnar, H. & Sorić, M. (2020) Movement quality in adolescence depends on the level and type of physical activity. Physical Therapy in Sport, 46, 194-203 doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2020.09.006.
  8. Mok, M.M.C., Chin, M.-., Korcz, A., Popeska, B., Edginton, C.R., Uzunoz, F.S., Podnar, H., Coetzee, D., Georgescu, L., Emeljanovas, A., Pasic, M., Balasekaran, G., Anderson, E. & Durstine, J.L. (2020). Brain breaks® physical activity solutions in the classroom and on attitudes toward physical activity: A randomized controlled trial among primary students from eight countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5) doi:10.3390/ijerph17051666
  9. Podnar, H., Novak, D. & Radman, I. (2018) Effects of a 5-minute classroom-based physical activity on on-task behaviour and physical activity levels. Kinesiology : international journal of fundamental and applied kinesiology, 50 (2), 6360, 9.
  10. Štefan, L., Radman, I., Podnar, H. & Vrgoč, G. (2018) Sleep Duration and Sleep Quality Associated with Dietary Index in Free-Living Very Old Adults. Nutrients, 10 (11), -, 8 doi:10.3390/nu10111748.
  11. Štefan, L., Mišigoj-Durakovic, M., Devrnja, A., Podnar, H., Petric, V., Soric, M. (2018). Tracking of Physical Activity, Sport Participation and Sedentary Behaviors over Four Years of High School. Sustainability, 10, 3104; doi:10.3390/su10093104
  12. Shrestha, N., Grgic, J., Wiesner, G., Parker, A., Podnar, H., Bennie, J. A., Biddle, S. J. H., Pedisic, Z. (2018). Effectiveness of interventions for reducing non-occupational sedentary behaviour in adults and older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2017-098270
  13. Stefan, L., Soric, M., Devrnja, A., Podnar, H., Misigoj Durakovic, M. (2017). Is school type associated with objectively measured physical activity in 15-year-olds? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017,14,1417; doi:10.3390/ijerph14111417
  14. Grgic, J., Mikulic, P., Podnar, H., Pedisic, Z. (2017). Effects of linear and daily undulating periodized resistance training programs on measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PeerJ, 2017(8) doi:10.7717/peerj.3695

Professional memberships

PADI COURSE DIRECTOR - Professional Association of Diving Instructors

ISIA Ski Instructor - HZUTS

List of select projects

  • 2023 - 2025: Work Package Leader, Monitoring physical fitness to enhance the development of physical literacy in children and adolescents (FitBack4Literacy) - ERASMUS-SPORT-2022-SCP-AG-LS-101089829. Funding Source: ERASMUS+. Project goal: Develop an interactive system to enhance physical literacy in children and young people - encompassing emotional, cognitive, and social aspects contributing to a person's overall health and well-being - integrated with the FitBack platform. The system aims to develop physical and health education teacher competencies to encourage long-term physical activity among students by providing them with health-focused feedback on physical fitness.

  • 2020 - 2022: Collaborator, The European Network for the Support of Development of Systems for Monitoring Physical Fitness of Children and Adolescents - No. 613010-EPP-1-2019-1-SI-SPO-SCP. Funding Source: ERASMUS+. Project goal: Create a multilingual online platform, FitBack, designed to offer educational feedback on health based on physical fitness levels. Provide guidelines for establishing systems to monitor the physical fitness of children and adolescents at local, regional, and national levels, and facilitate collaboration between the education, health, and sports sectors.

  • 2020 - 2022: Collaborator, Creating Mechanisms for Continuous Implementation of the Sports Club for Health Guidelines in the European Union - No. 613434-EPP-1-2019-1-HR-SPO-SCP. Funding Source: ERASMUS+. Project goal: Promote health through sports clubs by developing online learning tools, training, and raising awareness among decision-makers. Expand scientific evidence supporting the effective implementation of health promotion initiatives in sports clubs.

  • 2018 - 2022: Collaborator, Science and Technology in Childhood Obesity Policy (STOP) - No. 774548. Funding Source: Horizon 2020. Project goal: Research the causes of childhood obesity and systematize evidence on the effectiveness of various interventions in obesity prevention.

  • 2016 - 2020: Collaborator, Croatian Longitudinal Study on Physical Activity in Adolescence – IP-2016-06-9926. Funding Source: Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ). Project goal: Investigate patterns of change in physical activity during high school and determine its association with physical and mental health, as well as academic performance.

  • 2015 - 2016: Collaborator, full-time employment contract, Promoting National Implementation for Sport Club for Health Programmes in EU Member States – No. 556953-EPP-1-2014-1-FI-SPO-SCP. Funding Source: ERASMUS+. Project goal: Promote Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) through sports clubs in EU member states by providing guidelines, evidence-based reports, and recommendations for sports organizations, as well as strengthening the network of stakeholders dedicated to public health through sports activities.