Christopher E. Kline
Associate Professor

Assistant Professor
Department of Health and Human Development

Dr. Christopher Kline is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Human Development. His research focuses on three central topics: (1) the use of physical activity as a behavioral treatment for disturbed sleep and its health consequences; (2) how poor sleep impacts exercise behavior; and (3) how behavioral interventions such as exercise may reduce cardiometabolic disease risk through improved sleep. Dr. Kline also has a long-standing interest in studying the impact of sleep and circadian rhythms on athletic performance.

Born and raised in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Dr. Kline earned his BA in Sports Science from Malone College and his MS and PhD in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina. He first came to Pittsburgh as a postdoctoral scholar with the University of Pittsburgh Sleep and Chronobiology research group, and later joined the Pitt faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He has been faculty in the School of Education since 2015.

Dr. Kline is looking to accept a PhD student or postdoc with research interests in the bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep for a Fall 2021 start. Please contact Dr. Kline for additional information about the opportunity. If you are a Pitt undergraduate or MS student who is interested in gaining volunteer research experience with our group, please contact Dr. Kline. The minimum commitment expected is 5-10 hours per week for at least 2 semesters. Students will gain hands-on experience at all stages of the research process, including sleep assessment methodology (e.g., actigraphy, polysomnography).

Instructional Interests

Dr. Kline teaches courses in the Health and Physical Activity academic programs. Presently, he teaches Physiology of Exercise in the undergraduate program and Physical Activity and Health in the graduate program.

Scholarly Interests

  • Exercise as a behavioral treatment for sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea)

  • Bidirectional relationships between physical activity and sleep

  • Cardiometabolic risks of subclinical sleep disturbance and sleep disorders

  • Sleep as a pathway through which physical activity improves cardiometabolic health

  • Sleep assessment technology and actigraphy editing standardization

  • Impact of sleep and circadian rhythms on athletic performance and recovery

Selected Grants

  • Principal Investigator. Reducing sedentary behavior to improve sleep: an ancillary study to the RESET BP clinical trial. NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01 HL147610); 04/2019-02/2023.

  • Principal Investigator. Disentangling subclinical cardiovascular risk associated with insomnia, short sleep duration, and their combination. NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R03 HL148357); 08/2019-07/2021.

  • Principal Investigator. Exercise and obstructive sleep apnea: examination of the nocturnal rostral fluid shift as a mechanism of effect. University of Pittsburgh Central Research Development Fund Small Grant; 07/2017-06/2021.

  • Principal Investigator. A novel risk factor for cardiovascular disease: the insomnia-short sleep phenotype. NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (K23 HL118318); 01/2014 - 12/2019.

Featured Publications

  • Cajita MI, Kline CE, Bigini EG, Burke LE, Imes CC. Feasible but not yet efficacious: a scoping review of wearable activity monitors in interventions targeting physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. Curr Epidemiol Rep 2020;7:25-38.

  • Kubala AG, Buysse DJ, Brindle RC, Krafty RT, Thayer JF, Hall MH, Kline CE. The association between physical activity and a composite measure of sleep health. Sleep Breath 2020;24(3): 1207-1214. PMID: 31900885.

  • Kubala AG, Barone Gibbs B, Buysse DJ, Patel SR, Hall MH, Kline CE. Field-based measurement of sleep: agreement between six commercial activity monitors and a validated accelerometer. Behav Sleep Med 2020;18(5):637-652. PMID: 31455144.

  • Kroshus E, Wagner J, Wyrick D, Athey A, Bell L, Benjamin HJ, Grandner MA, Kline CE, Mohler JM, Prichard JR, Watson NF, Hainline B. Wake up call for collegiate athlete sleep: narrative review and consensus recommendations from the NCAA Interassociation Task Force on Sleep and Wellness. Br J Sports Med 2019;53(12):731-736. PMID: 31097460.

  • Kline CE, Burke LE, Sereika SM, Imes CC, Rockette-Wagner BJ, Mendez DD, Strollo PJ, Zheng Y, Rathbun SL, Chasens ER. Bidirectional relationships between weight change and sleep apnea in a behavioral weight loss intervention. Mayo Clin Proc 2018;93(9):1290-1298. PMID: 30082081; PMCID: PMC6129208.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (2020)

  • American Heart Association Early Investigator Travel Award (2016)

  • Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine Merit Award (2014)

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

Dr. Kline is an editorial board member for the journals Mental Health and Physical Activity, Sleep, and Sleep Health. He also currently serves on the Research Committee for the American College of Sports Medicine Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter and the Behavior Change Committee for the American Heart Association.

Christopher E. Kline


227 Oak Hill

View CV