Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology and advised by Kinesiology associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., was one of three current Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship recipients invited to speak at the CEHD Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Workshop on November 17. Along with three CEHD faculty, Pope and the two other current Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship recipients discussed how to best construct a strong Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship application packet, with a large focus on drafting the associated research proposal to the 90 doctoral students in attendance. The workshop video is available on YouTube.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, has been selected as the Foreign Outstanding Instructor by Hunan University in the People’s Republic of China in 2017. Hunan University is a top tier research university in China.
During his trip in November 2017, Gao delivered a graduate course titled “Emerging Technology in Physical Activity and Health Promotion” to approximately 30 graduate students at Hunan University (Changsha, China). This course was designed for graduate students to develop an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of what it means to introduce and apply emerging technologies in physical activity and healthcare settings. It demonstrated the important role emerging technologies play in a grand societal challenge – health/wellbeing – within the dramatically changing society. In addition, students were exposed to a variety of real-world physical activity and health care settings, as well as the related ethics, privacy, and research regulations working in the settings. They gained a user-centered understanding from the perspective of physical activity specialists, applied emerging technologies in promoting physical activity participation among various populations, and developed research skills to promote physical activity and health in these real-world settings.
Gao’s total accumulated lecture time was 32 hours, and the students received 2 credit hours toward their graduate degrees. Gao’s lectures have been well-received by the students and faculty members at Hunan University.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), recently published one book chapter as the co-author in Learning for a lifetime: Effective secondary physical education programs edited by Cothran and Keating.
Citation: Lu, C., & Gao, Z. (2017). Traditional Chinese physical activities. In Cothran, D.J. & Keating, X. (Ed.), Learning for a lifetime: Effective secondary physical education programs (pp. 273 – 287). Beijing, China: Education Science Publishing House.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), is co-author on an article in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy titled “The Relationship Between Accelerometer-Determined Physical Activity and Clinical Low Back Pain Measures in Adolescents With Chronic or Sub-Acute Recurrent Low Back Pain.” The study examined the relationship between objective physical activity measures assessed by accelerometers and standard clinical measures (pain intensity, disability, quality of life) in a sample of adolescents with recurrent or chronic low back pain (LBP). The study found that objectively measured physical activity was very weakly and not importantly associated with self-rated LBP intensity, disability, and quality of life.
Gao serves as corresponding author and first co-author on the article. He collaborated with doctoral advisees Zachary Pope and Nan Zeng, as well as colleagues Brent Leininger, DC, MS, Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD, and Roni Evans, DC, PhD, from the U of M’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, and Mitchell Haas, DC, MA, from the University of Western States.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), was reappointed as a high-end foreign expert on Physical Activity and Health by the People’s Republic of China for summer 2017. During his appointment tenure, Gao was based at Hunan Normal University (Changsha, China) and stayed in China for one month over the summer.
During his stay, Gao delivered a series of lectures on physical activity and health, helped the university establish the discipline in physical activity and health, offered a number of workshops to faculty and students, as well as trained the faculty and graduate students in conducting a cutting-edge research project. Gao is an alumnus of Hunan Normal University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education.
In addition, Gao was selected as the Foreign Outstanding Instructor by Hunan Province of China in summer 2017. He was based at Huaihua University, where he delivered a course titled “Advances in Physical Activity and Health,” as well as mentored the faculty and students in conducting two research projects in the university and local rural communities. Gao’s lectures have been well-received by the students and faculty members at Huaihua University.
Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology and advised by Kinesiology associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., was recently hired as an adjunct instructor at Bethel University teaching exercise physiology and assessment. Bethel University is a private Christian liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 6,000 students.
While Pope’s current research interests center around the use of technology to promote physical activity and nutritious eating behaviors, with improved physiological and psychosocial health outcome the ultimate goal, Pope previously spent six years exclusively studying and/or teaching exercise physiology. Further, since 2012, Pope has been an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist and coordinated the Human Performance Laboratory at Boise State University while earning his master’s degree.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), gave a keynote address at the 2017 China-America Summit Forum on Breast Cancer in Guangzhou, a major city of over 20 million in southern China, on June 18th, 2017. He delivered a 30-minute, well-received presentation titled “Disease Management and Improvement of Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Survivors” to over 200 conference attendees.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), together with his doctoral students June Lee, Zachary Pope, and Nan Zeng, took part in the American College of Sport Medicine’s (ACSM) 64th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, held May 30-June 3. At the conference, the lab members presented their research:
Gao, Z., Li, X.X., Zeng, N., Pope, Z., Yang, H.H., Liu, W.F., Xiong, H., Chen, Y.T., Li, J., & He, W. (2017, June). Accuracy of smartwatches in assessing college students’ energy expenditure in exercise with different intensities.
Lee, J., Pope, Z., Zeng, N., Zhang. Y., & Gao, Z. (2017, June). Associations among objectively-determined physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function in preschool children.
Pope, Z., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2017, June). Effects of mhealth apps on physical activity and weight loss outcomes: A meta-analysis.
Pope, Z., Zeng, N., Liao, N., Han, C.Y., & Gao, Z. (2017, June). Predicting biomarkers through affordable fitness band in Chinese breast cancer survivors.
Zeng, N., Li, X.X., Yang, H.M., Liu, W.F., Xiong, H., Chen, Y.T., & Gao, Z. (2017, June). The effects of different types of exercise on Chinese college students’ energy expenditure.
Zeng, N., Han, C.Y., Liao, N., & Gao, Z. (2017, June). Examining the relationships among Chinese breast cancer survivors’ psychosocial outcomes and physical fitness.
His research shows that replacing younger students’ “screen time” on tablets or computers with apps for exercise games can be as effective as physical education classes.
Gao emphasizes that exercise games on the computer do not replace time playing outside or the traditional physical education curriculum. Instead, he says, “we hope that active, fitness-oriented apps and games can replace sedentary time young people spend using tablets, watching television or playing traditional games – not physical activities like sports, biking or outside play.”
“Exercise games are not just a fad,” says Gao, “and can be part of our approach to capturing the attention of students who are not drawn to athletics and physical education.”
Gao is director of the School’s Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology, recently collaborated with researchers from the U of M and successfully secured a 5-year NIH R21/33 research grant as a co-investigator. The project titled “Mindful Movement for Physical Activity and Wellbeing in Older Adults: A Community Based Randomized Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Study” (1R21AT009110-01A1) will be led by Dr. Roni Evans, Research Director of the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Program at the Center for Spirituality and Healing.
Physical inactivity has reached pandemic proportions and is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. Of particular concern is that most middle to older age adults fall far short of recommendations for health-enhancing physical activities. This project takes a novel approach to tackling this problem by combining mindfulness with behavioral strategies in a unique ‘Mindful Movement’ program offered through YMCA community facilities. Gao will serve as the physical activity assessment specialist in the team to lead the measurement of the primary outcome – older adults’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, recently published a book titled “Technology in Physical Activity and Health Promotion” together with his graduate students Jung Eun Lee, Zachary Pope, Haichun Sun, and Nan Zeng with Routledge publishers.
Offering a logical and clear critique of technology in physical activity and health promotion, this book will serve as an essential reference for upper-level undergraduates, postgraduate students and scholars working in public health, physical activity and health and kinesiology, and healthcare professionals.
Zachary is advised by Kinesiology associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., and is a member of the School’s Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory. His thesis is titled, “Use of Polar M400 to Improve Physical Activity and Eating Behaviors among College Students: A 12-week Randomized Pilot Study.”
The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) gives the University’s most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year.
Zachary is one of just 100 students across the University who received the award this year. Congratulations!
Zan Gao, Ph.D., Kinesiology associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, recently served as the Guest Editor for a special issue of Journal of Sport and Health Science titled “Promoting Physical Activity and Health through Exergaming.”
The purpose of this special topic is to investigate the effects of exergaming on individuals’ energy expenditure, physical activity participation, sedentary behaviors, actual and perceived motor skills, activity choices, behavioral changes and psychosocial beliefs through experimental and quasi-experimental designs. The special issue includes a total of four original articles, one review article, one editorial, and one commentary piece contributed by research scientists in the USA, Australia, France, and Belgium. The special issue is available at this link.
Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology, has been awarded a $1200 Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Travel Grant to present two posters and give one oral presentation at the Society for Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America National Convention held in Boston March 14-18. Pope is advised by Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory.
COGS is a University-wide student organization that represents, advocates for, and supports graduate students at the U of M. The travel grant supports students who present original work at a conference with a poster, oral presentation, or other acceptable format. The maximum award is $1200.
While at the SHAPE America Convention, Pope will also be awarded a 2017 Research Council Graduate Student Research Award by SHAPE America for his project, “Validity of Smartwatches in Assessing Energy Expenditure and Heart Rate.”
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab, recently published a paper in Computers in Human Behavior. The first author, Jung Eun Lee, is Dr. Gao’s Ph.D. student and currently an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
The paper examined the acute effect of playing a single bout of active video games on children’s mood change and whether mood change differed by gender and age group. The researchers found that a short bout of active video games significantly reduced anger, depression and vigor, and fourth grade children had greater vigor than the third graders.
Lee, J., Xiang, P., & Gao, Z. (2017). Acute effect of active video games on older children’s mood change. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 97-103. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.060 (impact factor: 2.69)
Doctoral students Nan Zeng, Zachary Pope, June Lee, and associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., from the School of Kinesiology, recently published an article titled “A systematic review of active video games on rehabilitative outcomes among older patients” in Journal of Sport and Health Science. Mr. Zeng is the lead author on the article. The study systematically reviewed literature, summarized findings, and evaluated the effectiveness of Active Video Games (AVGs) as a therapeutic tool in improving physical, psychological, and cognitive rehabilitative outcomes among older adults with chronic diseases. The study found AVGs have potential in rehabilitation for older patients, though more research is warranted to make more definitive conclusions.
In addition, Zachary Pope published “The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis” recently in Preventive Medicine. Co-authors are Nan Zeng and Zan Gao, Ph.D. The review examined the effectiveness of active video games in rehabilitation settings. When compared to traditional rehabilitation methods, findings indicated active video games to have a large positive effect on balance control in youth/young adults and a moderate positive effect on older adults’ falls efficacy. More research is needed, however, particularly as pertains to the use of active video gaming in cognitive rehabilitation.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), is featured in the current issue of the College of Education and Human Develpment’s CE+HD Connect Magazine.
Gao and his research team use technology to increase health in children and adults by encouraging movement. Read the entire story titled “Motivation to Move!”
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab, will publish two first-authored papers in the Journal of Sport and Health Science (impact factor: 1.72).
In the first editorial paper, Dr. Gao comments on the role of active video games in promoting physical activity and health. According to this editorial, although sedentary video games present negative effects to a healthy and active lifestyle, active video games have a great possibility of facilitating physical activity promotion. Health professionals are striving to “fight fire with fire” — attempting to apply active video games to promoting physical activity and health. Notably, as a result of the work of professionals in the past decade, active video games have made marked contributions to the understanding and promotion of physical activity behaviors among various populations.
The second paper examines the effect of exergaming on children’s sedentary behavior, light physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and energy expenditure over two years as compared with regular physical education classes. It was found that exergaming can have the same positive effect on children’s light physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and energy expenditure as does regular physical education.
Gao, Z. (in press). Fight fire with fire: Promoting physical activity and health through active video games. Journal of Sport and Health Science.
Gao, Z., Pope, Z., Lee, J., Stodden, D., Roncesvalles, N., Pasco, D., Huang, C., & Feng, D. (in press). Impact of exergaming on young children’s school day energy expenditure and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels. Journal of Sport and Health Science.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab, recently published two papers with his students in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.
The first paper, “Effect of SPARK on students’ physical activity, motivation and cardiovascular fitness in physical education” examines the effect of a 9-week SPARK program on physical activity, cardiorespiratory endurance (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run), and motivation in middle-school students. The researchers found that, following the intervention, SPARK displayed greater increases on physical activity and motivation measures in younger students compared with the Traditional program. The first author, You Fu, is Dr. Gao’s previous PhD student and currently Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada at Reno.
The second paper, “Young children’s energy expenditure and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on weekdays and weekends” was funded by NIH with June Lee serving as the first author. This study explores children’s estimated energy expenditure rates and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in three-time segments: at-school, after-school, and weekends. It was found that children’s energy expenditure rate and minutes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day were higher during after school and weekends than at school. Yet, children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during weekdays and weekends still fell far short of the recommended level of 60 minutes/day.