FitnessGram and Physical Education Research
A number of faculty and students in the lab share interests in school based physical activity programming. The Physical Activity Research Team for Youth (PARTY) group includes 3 Kinesiology faculty (Dr. Welk, Dr. Vazou, and Dr. Pitchford), as well as several graduate students (Joey Lee, Jessie Velthoff and Matt Stewart). Key roles are also played by former graduate student Yang Bai who is now faculty at the University of Vermont. The PARTY group is interested in youth physical activity programming. The team has worked to coordinate the Iowa FITNESSGRAM Initiative and has also established robust measurement tools to evaluate correlates of physical activity in youth.
A key research priority in our lab is to enhance the utility and utilization of the FITNESSGRAM youth fitness program. FITNESSGRAM is a youth fitness and physical activity assessment system developed to enhance school physical education programming. Dr. Welk serves as the Scientific Director of the FITNESSGRAM program and conducts research focused on improving the science and practice of FITNESSGRAM use in schools. Members of the lab contribute to the ongoing evaluation of the prominent NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Partnership Project. Local lines of participatory research are also coordinated through the Iowa FitnessGram Initiative. See links for additional details. For information about FITNESSGRAM in general visit www.fitnessgram.net