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.