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Mathematical Sciences

Assessment of Tools For Objective Measurement of Physical Activity

Date: February 6 2013 3:30pm Location: John Howard 135

John Howard 135

Hannah L. Callender, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at University of Portland, will speak on:

Participation in physical activity (PA) on a regular basis is important for maintaining health, yet many people in the United States do not meet the levels recommended by scientific and health organizations (CDC). Current research on behavioral patterns and interventions designed to increase PA primarily are aimed at younger children (6-18yrs) or adults (Nelson et al. 2007) with the college population often ignored. PA behavior during the late adolescence/early college period in life is of particular importance as behaviors adopted during this time frame may carry over into adulthood. Previous research indicates that between 40-50% of college students are physically inactive, 25% are classified as obese (Huang et al. 2010), and 33-50% experience psychological problems that affect their functioning (Hunt & Eisenberg, 2010), thus putting their overall health at risk (Buckworth, 2004; Keating, 2005; Ferrara, 2009). Given the fact that PA plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and improving mental health, it is important to describe PA behavior in this population and design interventions to increase PA that are tailored to this population’s specific goals and motivations.  One issue in measuring PA lies in the ability to obtain objective measurements of activity and then to appropriately report the results from those measurements.  In this talk I will discuss strategies for objective measurement of physical activity, including results from this summer’s REU at the University of Portland.

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