The Physical Activity and Health Promotion Lab combines research expertise from faculty in diverse areas of Kinesiology
Greg Welk, Ph.D. (Professor, Lab Director)
I am a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology with broad interests focused on the intersections of physical activity and public health. I conduct research on physical activity assessment techniques to help develop more effective methods for various research and surveillance applications but I am also committed to work that builds and evaluates effective physical activity programming in diverse segments of society (e.g. school, community, worksites and clinics). I serve as the Scientific Director of the national FITNESSGRAM program and coordinate several large school based initiatives in collaboration with the Cooper Institute. Our team has also established a participatory research network here in Iowa to evaluate the effective utilization of FITNESSGRAM and strategies for promoting physical activity (www.IowaFitnessgram.org). I am active in local community based initiatives to promote physical activity and health (e.g. Healthiest Ames and Story County Quality of Life Alliance) and have built lines of community engaged work to help serve Ames and other communities across the state (See ISU Community Campus Partnership for Health). Links to publications and a biosketch are available here.
Dr. Senlin Chen
Dr. Chen’s research is focused on youth motivation and learning in physical education and physical activity settings. An active fellow of SHAPE America Research Council, Dr. Chen has published a number of papers in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. His recent research revolves around the development and evaluation of SWITCH PE, a curriculum unit designed to enhance energy balance education in elementary school students. Outside of work, Dr. Chen enjoys a variety of physical activities such as golf, swimming, basketball, biking, weight training, and tennis. For more information about Dr. Chen and his research, check www.chenslab.org
Dr. Laura Ellingson
Dr. Ellingson is an Assistant Professor that specializes in exercise psychology and the application of behavioral theories to the promotion of physical activity in different populations. She is leading studies related to "health coaching" and motivational interviewing applications related to wearable technology. She is working with Dr. Welk and Dr. Shook on clinical applications to promote activity in adults
Dr. Spyridoula Vazou
Dr. Vazou is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology with expertise in exercise psychology and behavior change programming in youth. She works as a Co-Investigator on the Switch project and is also a member of the PARTy (Physical Activity Research Team - for youth) that focuses on developing and evaluating assessment tools and behavior change programming that can help promote physical activity. She is the lead developer of the Move for Thought materials widely used in schools to help promote activity in kids at school.
Dr. Robin Shook
I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. I am first and foremost a physical activity researcher, and have completed studies on the interaction between exercise and a variety of chronic diseases using a range of methodologies (clinical trials, epidemiology, etc.). My current research focuses on the concept of energy balance, which is the relationship between how many calories a person eats, how many they burn, and how they store excess calories in their body. Dr. Shook collaborates on the clinical applications to activity promotion.