Researchers generate extensive new evidence about how physical activity participation can enhance physical, mental and social well-being. However, the application of these findings to the “real-world” remains a considerable challenge. At the same time, community, non-government and government organizations have guidelines, programs and services that seek to promote physical activity to benefit individuals and societies; yet, programs may not achieve their full potential if they are not evidence- and theory-based and collaboratively developed, and organizations may not know if their programs are effective if they are not rigorously evaluated. Herein lies the focus of my research program: I engage in innovative and applied research projects that close the gap between physical activity participation research and practice. My research program builds a foundation that researchers and practitioners can use to design, implement, and evaluate “real-world”, physical activity participation-enhancing interventions that have maximal impact. The outcomes of my work improve the design and delivery of effective interventions, and thus, have the potential to improve the health of Canadians.
I strive to promote both quantity and quality of physical activity participation among the general population, as well as persons with disabilities and chronic disease. My work in this area has led to theoretical, methodological, and practical advances for understanding quality participation experiences in community-based exercise programs.
2. I bridge the physical activity participation “know-do” gap by drawing on knowledge translation science to inform and enhance knowledge translation practice. My work in this area has contributed to the dissemination and implementation of physical activity/24-Hour Movement Behaviour guidelines, programs and services in Canada.
3. . By adopting an integrated knowledge translation approach, wherein knowledge users (i.e., members of the general public, health professionals, organizations) and researchers work together at all stages of the research process, it is possible to disseminate, implement and evaluate solution-based guidelines, programs, services, and interventions that are feasible from the individual- to societal-levels.
- To investigate the development of consolidated physical activity guidelines for special populations and;
- To evaluate new strategies for implementing the guidelines and motivating people to achieve them.
- To examine novel strategies for presenting standard physical activity messages that emphasize the health benefits of physical activity.
- To establish novel benefits of physical activity participation (i.e., stigma management) and test messages that emphasize these novel benefits.
- To examine the feasibility and efficacy of training healthcare professional to deliver effective evidence-based physical activity messages.
- To investigate the importance of peers in communicating physical activity messages to others with a physical disability.
- To examine depth of cognitive processing (i.e., whether a person scrutinizes a message or skims over it) as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of framed messages on physical activity.