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Current Projects

Implementation Factors for Effective Walking School Bus Programs

The goal of this study is to use an Implementation Science framework to identify best practices for leading a successful walking school bus program. Data are being collected from approximately 200 walking school bus programs across the US and from other parts of the world, in partnership with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

Location-Specific and Location-General Influences of Obesity-Related Behaviors

The goal of this study is to investigate the role location-specific and location-general multilevel (individual, interpersonal, and environmental) factors in relation to physical activity, sedentary time, and dietary intake in young adolescents. Both physical activity and food locations will be assessed, the former with combined Global Positioning Systems and accelerometers and the latter with 24 hour dietary recall. Findings will inform how to target behavior change skills differently across the home, school, and other locations.

Ecological Video Analysis for Automated Assessment of Physical Activity (E-VIP)

E-VIP is a pilot study to develop and validate novel video analysis algorithms for automated ecological assessment of physical activity in settings such as parks, school yards, and youth sports. The technology could be used to increase physical activity in these settings by providing end users with real-time audits and feedback of physical activity within and across sessions or times of day. 

Computational Techniques for Assessing Sitting Patterns from Accelerometers

The goal of this study is to develop and apply an algorithm to accurately assess posture (sitting versus standing) and sedentary bout patterns from hip-worn accelerometers across the age span. We are developing the algorithm using 3 existing large datasets in youth, adults, and older adults. We are then applying the algorithm to data in 3 different large datasets to improve understanding of the impacts of prolonged sedentary patterns on health and inform interventions.

Community and Surrounding Areas Study (CASAS)

CASAS is an ancillary study to the national population-based Hispanic Community Health Study/ Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) and involves investigating built and social neighborhood environment impacts on cardio-metabolic health in Latinos. We are testing an ecological model of macro (community design) and micro (streetscape) neighborhood environment factors, intermediate behavioral (physical activity) and psychosocial (e.g., depression, stress) mechanisms, and ~6-year changes in cardio-metabolic health in 1,776 Hispanic/Latino adults. Methods.

Sedentary Patterns in Hispanic/Latino Youth

In 1466 youth (ages 8-16) from the Hispanic Community Health Study/ Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), we are investigating the accumulation of prolonged periods/patterns of sedentary time and its association with cardio-metabolic and psychological health.

Review of Adoption-Ready Classroom Physical Activity Programs

In this study we are compiling and reviewing all existing adoption ready (i.e., available online or for purchase) classroom based physical activity programs to identify the extent to which they include materials/resources that support sustained school-wide program implementation.

Trip Mode Assessment from GPS and Consumer Monitors

In this study we are comparing various software available for assessing bicycling and walking trips from Global Positions Systems tracker data in youth, and testing the ability of consumer devices (FitBit and Garmin) for passively tracking bicycling and walking trips in youth.

Physical Activity Environment Measures User’s Guide and Learning Modules

We are working with the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) to develop a Physical Activity Environment Measures User’s Guide to support researchers and practitioners in the selection and use of measurement tools. Part of this work includes developing online learning modules that will accompany the User’s Guide.

Past Projects

2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

The primary goal of the 2018 U.S. Report Card was to assess the levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in American children and youth, facilitators and barriers for physical activity, and health outcomes related to physical activity.

Personal Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS)

We tested the validity of PALMS data processing algorithms for assessing walking, bicycling, and vehicle trips from Global Positioning Tracker data, and applied these algorithms to a study in youth to investigate associations between the neighborhood environment and active travel.

Implementation of Classroom Physical Activity after District Adoption

The goal of this project was to investigate rates of implementation of classroom-based physical activity in 6 schools districts that adopted a classroom-based physical activity program, and to document the impacts of classroom physical activity on students' concentration, behavior, and physical activity.

Variation in School-Based Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Activity

The goal of this project was to investigate associations between existing school physical activity-related practices/opportunities and students' objectively measured physical activity during school, and how both physical activity opportunities and physical activity varied by the socioeconomic status of the community served by the school.

Time Drift and Matching Data across Person-Worn Sensors

We are testing time drift across devices when integrating data from Global Positions Systems trackers and accelerometers to inform best approaches for both data collection and processing.

Building Collective Health: Community Interventions for Northeast Kansas City

We are working with partners at BikeWalkKC to evaluate earn-a-bike programs delivered in 4 elementary schools and pop-up streetscape pedestrian safety improvements (curb bump outs and crosswalks) in the Northeast Kansas City Neighborhood.

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