Wharf Higgins, S Joan

Professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2), Health and Society


Phone number: (250) 721-8377
Email: jwharfhi@uvic.ca
Department: School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Ed

Research description:

-Health promotion and disease prevention
-Social determinants of community and population health
-Application of social marketing theory and strategies to facilitate social change
-Single mothers and social inclusion
Expertise Profile
Joan Wharf Higgins studies health promotion and disease prevention working directly with people in the community to help them fit healthy decisions into their lifestyles.

Whether that involves getting them to be more physically active or eating healthier, Dr. Wharf Higgins believes it's important for people to have a sense of control over their own health.

"I call my work 'real life research' so I look a how our life choices are influenced by our life circumstances," she says. "People's needs vary differently and adapting solutions to their own situations creates more equitable health promotion in the community," she says. It's important that people make healthy decisions that they feel will work for them, she says.

Dr. Wharf Higgins's research has broad-based applications that promote health and prevent the onset of diseases. One project she worked on has helped a school introduce water-refillable stations across the grounds to encourage kids to drink more water, rather than sugary beverages.

Dr. Wharf Higgins is the Canada Research Chair in Health and Society and was recently nominated as one of the top 20 most influential women in sport and physical activity by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport.

Health related research:

Health literacy and critical media health literacy; health education and health behaviours; promotion of physical activity and healthy eating with high school students.

UVic Speakers bureau

S Joan Wharf Higgins takes part in the UVic Speakers Bureau.
More information about the Speakers Bureau can be found here.

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