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Research in the Kinesiology and Public Health Department

In our department, students and faculty work cohesively together in a supportive academic environment to study everything from the effects of pregnancy on a family to the best method to teach children healthy exercise habits. Below are just a few examples of the of research Kinesiology majors are involved with. 

pregnant woman with appleGestational Diabetes Prevention Program

Dr. Suzanne Phelan recently received a $3 million NIH grant to conduct a research project aimed at preventing gestational diabetes. Dr. Phelan and her team will recruit women who had gestational diabetes in their first pregnancy, and will help them adopt healthy behaviors prior to their next pregnancy.  Read more about gestational diabetes prevention.

Photo of dad and son runningWhat Effect Does Pregnancy Have on Fathers?

Dr. Todd Hagobian has been awarded a 3.3 million dollar NIH grant to study father’s health during pregnancy. More specifically, Dr. Hagobian plans on studying whether mothers who change their eating and exercise routine during pregnancy will influence dads. Read more about the effects of pregnancy on fathers. 

Baby eating a carrotPreventing Obesity During Early Childhood

Dr. Alison Ventura is currently conducting several studies aimed at understanding the familial factors that influence children's eating and health behaviors, with the ultimate goal of promoting healthy parent-child interactions and childhood growth trajectories. Read more about early childhood health and nutrition research at Cal Poly. 

Cyclist In Research StudyCycling Biomechanics Research

Dr. Bob Clark's research examines methods to increase performance for competitive cyclists and triathletes from a biomechanics perspective. For example, in the cycling lab, he and his research team examine the specific effects of chain ring design (circular vs oval) on power output and metabolic cost. They also look into the effects of motor learning strategies involving feedback and instruction. For example, cyclists are shown in real time the torque production during stationary cycling and how deliberate focus on pedaling alters their power output. Read more about Dr. Clark's biomechanics research.

Young couple holding handsHealthy Relationships in Adolescents and Young Adults

Dr. Christine Hackman has been conducting research on violence prevention and healthy relationship promotion in college students for the past several years.  Her current focus is on preventing sexual assault by shifting focus from the individual to the greater community. Read more about Dr. Hackman's healthy relationships research.

Chopping BroccoliImpacts of Sedentary Behavior and Inactivity on Health

Dr. Sarah Keadle has used both observational and experimental studies to understand the impact of too much sitting and too little exercise on risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. She has a strong interest in using new technology to better measure activity-behaviors in order to improve our understanding of how these behaviors relate to health. Read more about Dr. Keadle's research.

Active FamilyFamily Health Research Group

The Family Health Research Group is conducting innovative research focused on promoting health and preventing obesity within families and during key developmental periods, such as preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood. Read more about family health research at Cal Poly.

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