Phone Number:(250) 721-8384
School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Ed
Aging, Centre on
- Behavioural medicine
We all know that physical activity is good for us. Among other things, it can offset depressive symptoms and is a proven factor in fighting cancer.
And yet, there is a gap between this knowledge and people actually taking part in physical activity.
Dr. Ryan Rhodes, director of the Behavioural Medicine Lab (BMED) and professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria, studies why that is and how to motivate people to become more active.
Dr. Rhodes' primary research and teaching area is focused on the psychology of physical activity and sedentary behaviour. He researches a variety of motivations to get people off the couch and into a more active lifestyle.
The work he does in his lab attempts to match motivation strategies to age groups.
For example, given the mass appeal of video games among youth and young adults, Dr. Rhodes believes active video game training may be a helpful tool in the fight against physical inactivity.
For older adults, he may look into very simple, easy to do activities.
Dr. Rhodes and his lab team recently finished a longitudinal trial of the effect of parenthood on health behaviours. The project followed cohorts of couples without children, expectant first-time parents, and expectant second-time parents across two years. Papers from the trial are currently being published.
His work directly contributes to the understanding of the development of healthy, active communities across the lifespan.
In his classes, Dr. Rhodes shows students that community participation and engagement are an important part of research and that graduate studies are an achievable and exciting possibility for undergraduates.
Dr. Rhodes is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar and a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator, and recently received an investigator award from the Canadian Cancer Society. He is also the 2008 winner of the Early Career Award from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.
Dr. Rhodes' Faces of UVic Research video: http://youtu.be/SGwzTqEDDt4