The School of Kinesiology is offering a new all-University undergraduate minor in Health and Wellness Promotion starting in Spring 2018. Students will study the effects of physical activity and recreation in terms of community, individual health and overall wellness. Focusing on the health, physical activity, and nutrition in the context of society, they will learn how to create and utilize programs that promote physical activity, leisure and wellness. The minor will prepare students for a variety of career paths in allied health, industry, business, teaching, and community service.
“We are very excited to offer the new Health and Wellness Promotion Minor. There is increased attention on promoting health and wellness as a strategy to prevent chronic disease, and our hope is that this minor will help undergraduates gain a stronger understanding of how physical activity, recreation, wellness, and nutrition can be promoted in their professional career.”
Beth Lewis, Ph.D., professor and director in the School of Kinesiology
This interdisciplinary minor is a campus-wide program, open to all undergraduate students regardless of college or major. Detailed program information and how to apply can be found on the Health and Wellness Promotion minor’s webpage.
An article in the October 18 online issue of the Minnesota Daily features a study showing a relationship between the effect of practicing yoga and preventing weight gain. Researchers studied young adults who were overweight five years before the study, and found that those who engaged in yoga had a slight weight loss over time, while those who were not practicing yoga gained weight. Beth Lewis, Ph.D., professor and director in the School of Kinesiology, was quoted, saying: “[Yoga] has the potential to reach individuals who … want something that combines a physical activity that really deals with not only your mental health but your physical well-being.”
The study is part of a larger research initiative, Project EAT, which examines nutrition, physical activity and weight status among people in Minnesota ranging from adolescence to adulthood.
Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Lab, was quoted in two online magazine articles for Highlights Magazine online. Barr-Anderson’s research interests focus on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents, and she used her expertise to answer questions and advise parents on how to aid their children in living an active lifestyle and combat the couch-potato culture.
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.
Beth Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, and colleagues (including her advisees Lauren Billing, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate, and Katie Schuver, Kinesiology Ph.D., 2014 ) have had an article published in Women’s Health.
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.
The research projects Dr. Lewis presented are “Feasibility and efficacy of a physical activity intervention for the prevention of postpartum depression: A randomized trial.” (Lewis, B. A., Schuver, K., Gjerdingen, D., Terrell, C., & Avery, M. ) and “The future of physical activity intervention research: Expanding focus to sedentary behavior, technology, and dissemination.”(Lewis, B.A., Napolitano, M.A., Buman, M., Williams, D.M., Nigg, C.R.).
Beth Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, is one of the experts interviewed for WalletHub’s online article, “2017’s Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle.” The article lists criteria used for evaluating the cities and ranks them. (Minneapolis received an overall ranking of 6 out of 100 cities.)
Dr. Lewis was one of a panel of experts who responded to questions about how people and their families can incorporate active lifestyle changes in their lives, and how to influence change at the policy level. Read the story and Dr. Lewis’s interview here.
The study expanded versions of an existing research model to explore psychosocial factors related to adults’ participation in recreational team sport. The purpose is to demonstrate that sport commitment is related to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
Beth Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, has been awarded a three-year $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The grant, “Exercise Intervention for Preventing Perinatal Depression among Low-Income Women,” will examine the influence of exercise and wellness support on depression among pregnant and postpartum women.
According to MCHB publications, perinatal (the period during and after pregnancy) depression affects approximately 14 to 25 percent of pregnant women and is used to describe a range of conditions including, prenatal depression, postpartum blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis.