Physical activity has been linked to decreased risks of various cancers and improved physical and emotional functioning among cancer survivors, whereas sedentary behavior, or a lack of physical activity and poor fitness, has been associated with increased risk and poorer prognosis for various cancers. Sedentary behavior has increasingly been recognized as an independent behavior and is distinguishable from lack of physical activity in terms of conceptualization, measurement, and intervention approach. Recent evidence also indicates the independent associations of sedentary behavior with cancer-relevant outcomes and the importance of characterizing and intervening upon the large segments of time people spend remaining sedentary.
In order to better understand and improve/reduce physical activity/sedentary behavior in the U.S. population, the Health Behaviors Research Branch focuses on research related to: physical activity interventions and programs, behavioral assessment of physical activity and/or sedentary activity, physiological assessment of physical activity (e.g., physiological fitness), mechanisms of physical activity/sedentary behavior change, multiple health behaviors associated with exercise, information technology and physical activity/sedentary behaviors, environmental aspects of physical activity, policy and physical activity, genetic aspects of physical activity and physical fitness, and addressing the interplay between physical fitness, obesity, and cancer relevant outcomes. Projects addressing mechanisms of physical activity behavior change and innovative use of theory and state of the art methodology; as well as novel approaches for sedentary behavior intervention, mechanisms of sedentary behavior change, and innovative use and development of behavioral theory and methodology are especially sought.
Major Initiative: Mechanisms of Physical Activity Behavior Change (RFA CA-04-009)
Co-sponsors: NCI, NIDDK, OBSSR, ORWH
The purpose of this RFA is to increase the knowledge base necessary to develop effective physical activity interventions in children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Specifically, this RFA seeks to elucidate the psychosocial, environmental, and physiological factors involved in the mechanisms of physical activity behavior change to better understand the factors involved in the causal pathways that lead to physical activity behavior change.
Ten (10) grants were funded under this RFA: 3 R21s, 7 R01s
Dr. Amanda Birnbaum: R21 CA109846
Montclair State University in New Jersey
Title: Involving adolescents in physical activity promotion
Dr. Yvonne L. Michael: R21 CA109920
Oregon Health & Science University
Title: Environmental influences on change in elderly walking
Dr. Heather Patrick: R21 CA109961
University of Rochester
Title: On the move: A self-determination exercise intervention
Dr. Aaron Deborah (Dr. Robert Robertson): R01 CA109895
University of Pittsburgh
Title: Psycho-physiological influences on physical activity
Dr. Karen Basen-Engquist: R01 CA109919
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Social Cognitive
Title: Theory and physical activity after endometrial cancer
Dr. Angela Bryan: R01 CA109858
University of Colorado at Boulder
Title: Mediators and moderators of exercise behavior change
Dr. Kelly R. Evenson: R01 CA109804
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Title: Understanding change in physical activity postpartum
Dr. Claudio R. Nigg: R01 CA109941
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Title: Testing the Transtheoretical model of behavior change
Drs. Barry M. Popkin/Penny Gordon-Larsen: R01 CA109831
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Title: Young adult environmental and physical activity dynamics
Dr. Paul A. Estabrooks: R01 DK070553
Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
Title: Individual and environmental mechanisms of physical activity change
Reports and Publications
A special issue of the Journal of Sport and Exercise, Mechanisms of Physical Activity Behavior Change, was created to summarize the work completed under a Health Behaviors Research Branch initiative (RFA-CA-04-009). Researchers are encouraged to view the issue, which provides project results and characterizes current challenges and opportunities in the science of physical activity behavior change of interest to the Health Behavior Research Branch.
In 2008, HHS released of the first HHS Federal Physical Activity Guidelines (please visit http://www.health.gov/paguidelines). These guidelines provide not only recommendations for participants, but also identify research and dissemination areas of interest. Towards the end of furthering physical activity and health promotion research, there are currently 52 active NIH PAs and RFAs targeting physical activity/exercise research and training in FY2009. The NCI is the primary sponsor on approximately a quarter of those announcements and a co-sponsor on approximately 65% of the announcements.