Our lab pursues interdisciplinary research integrating the effects of exercise and physical activity on the mind, behavior, and health with a focus on the aging process.
Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population with more than 36 million adults over the age of 65 (AOA, 2006). Interestingly, Pennsylvania is second only to Florida in the number of older adults living in the state. With advancing age, there is an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases often leading to compromised physical, psychological, and emotional functioning.
Physical activity is one health behavior shown to have the potential to reduce, or prevent altogether the age-related decline in physical function, to enhance psychological well-being, and improve quality of life. In spite of these benefits, only a small proportion of older adults engage in physical activity at levels sufficient to accrue these benefits.
In our research, we approach aging from a lifespan perspective, including young, middle-aged and older adults as the target populations. Substantial amount of research in the lab has focused on physical activity and women’s health issues. Specifically, we examine the role of physical activity in enhancing women’s health as they transition through menopause. Recently, we have focused our efforts on studying the effects of mind-body therapies on functional and wellbeing outcomes. We are interested in how modalities such as Yoga, Taiji, or Mindfulness training impact people’s wellbeing and what is different about these modalities as compared to more traditional physical activity approaches.
We use traditional psychological assessment techniques such as surveys, questionnaires, or interviews, as well as more specialized assessments such daily diaries or Dynamic Real-Time Ecological Ambulatory Methodologies (DREAM). Our studies are observational as well as experimental in nature. Learn more about our research by clicking the button below.