Advisory Board


Our Advisory Board is a panel of clinical and academic health care professionals and fitness and wellness industry specialists, proficient in their specific health and wellness-related fields.

The aim of the Urban Poling Advisory Board is to gain objective expert feedback on ongoing Urban Poling research projects, and design upgrades and clinical programming for the use of Urban Poles in our growing number of programs. All of our programs are assessed by external experts to ensure the highest quality of safety and effectiveness. Currently, we are expanding our walking-based programs, aimed at rehabilitation, fall prevention, diabetes management, weight loss programs and additional modules to promote health and wellness through the activity of Urban Poling.

Dr. Agnes Coutinho (Advisory Board Chair)
Dr. Coutinho is the Director of Health Communications for Urban Poling Inc. She obtained her undergraduate and MSc degrees at York University (Toronto), in Kinesiology and Health Science, specializing in exercise physiology and metabolism. She completed the Fitness Assessment & Exercise Counselling Certificate from York, as well as the Certified Fitness Consultant (CFC) and Professional Fitness & Lifestyle Consultant (PFLC) certificates through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Dr. Coutinho achieved a PhD in medical sciences (specializing in Endocrinology) at the University of Edinburgh, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship position funded by the Medical Research Council, UK. Currently, she is the Asst. Program Head in Kinesiology at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, and a Board Director for the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association. Dr. Coutinho has always been fascinated by the health benefits of exercise, as well as promoting physical activity in the context of disease prevention and health.

Board members:

Dr. Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer for 2010 Winter Olympics & Para-Olympic
Selected to the Leading Physicians of the World 2015
BC Sports Hall of Fame. Induction Dec 2014
Medical Director M1 Pro Cycling
Founded Sport Med BC 32 years ago
Co founded Vancouver international Marathon and Seawall James Cunningham Race
Co founded Vancouver Sun Run
Co founded UBC Grand Prix of Cycling and Po Co Grand Prix of Cycling
FIH Tournament Physician Pan Ams and Olympics Qualifiers. Beijing and London
CMO Americas Masters Games Aug 2016
Co Team Physician National Women’s Field Hockey World Cup Qualifier Zone 2. 2017

Dr. Bahram Jam, D.Sc.PT, M.PHty, B.Sc.PT, FCAMT
Dr. Jam is the founder and director of the Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (APTEI). He has been a chief instructor for over 600 post-graduate Orthopaedic clinical courses across Canada and internationally. He is presently practicing at Athlete’s Care Clinic located at York University Campus in Toronto.

Prof. Dr. med. Karsten Knobloch
Prof. Dr. Knobloch is the president of SportPraxis in Hannover, Germany. He has a strong interest in sports medicine and is the first author of the highly sited paper focusing on the safety of Nordic walking – “Nordic Pole Walking Injuries – Nordic Walking Thumb as Novel Injury Entity(2006)*. He is also the author of “Off to sports injury?–Diagnosis, treatment and prevention” (in German, 2009) and co-author of “Micronutrients in sports medicine and orthopedics” (in German, 2012).

Dr. Michael Riddell

Dr. Riddell holds a PhD in Medical Sciences (Physiology/Pharmacology) and is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Sciences at York University in Toronto. Dr. Riddell’s focuses on both type 2 and type 1 diabetes, he is the founder and director of the York University Diabetes Sports Camp and he has published more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 16 text book chapters on exercise and stress physiology in health and disease.

Dr. Sergiu Fediuc

Dr. Fediuc holds a PhD in Kinesiology, specializing in the effects of pharmacological and nutritional manipulation on skeletal muscle metabolism. He has extensive experience in the fitness field working with the general public as well as athletes. As a university student, he was a member of York University’s varsity track and field team for 4 years and has won several provincial and national medals. Dr. Fediuc is a Professor of Fitness and Health Promotion at Humber College and Guelph-Humber Kinesiology program, with previous teaching appointments at York University and Sheridan College in Toronto.

Barb Gormley (Director of Education & Master Trainer)
Through her Toronto-based company CustomFit, Barb works as a personal fitness trainer, health & fitness writer and urban poling instructor. As Urban Poling’s Director of Education, she produces the company’s educational fitness materials. Barb is the author of The Urban Poling Ultimate Guide to Nordic walking and has written numerous magazine articles on the benefits and also presents at conferences, trade shows and health fairs across the province.




Plant, Push Propel

Proper technique allows you to get the maximum benefit from your Urban Poles.  When in doubt go back to the 3P’s, Plant, Push Propel.  Start slowly, if you become confused, stop & begin again.

Barb Gormley, Director of Education



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