Dr. Cavallini To Make Presentations on Physical Activity Plan

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Monday, January 22, 2018 - 11:30am

A Limestone College professor will soon be barnstorming the nation in an effort to get America healthy.

Dr. Felicia Cavallini, Professor of Physical Education, has been selected to make presentations in three major areas of the United States in support of her research concerning how people like to exercise. Dr. Cavallini is part of a research team that had a manuscript published last year by the Journal of Physical Activity Research.

The research, peer-reviewed article was entitled “Introducing MyHouse Activity and MyWork Activity: A Paradigm Shift Towards Lifestyle Physical Activity Supported by Evidence from a Focus Group Study.”

Dr. Cavallini will be speaking at the American Association for Behavioral and Social Sciences annual conference February 26-27 in Las Vegas, at the SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) National Convention March 20-24 in Nashville, and to American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting May 29-June 2 in Minneapolis.

The manuscript derived from a Canadian focus group study to examine people’s beliefs, outlooks, and attitudes toward physical activity and exercise. “In spite of countless attempts to increase the physical activity level of the Canadian population, according to the Canadian Health Measures Survey, only 15 percent of Canadian adults obtain the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week,” Cavallini said. “Because the United States shares similar results with Canada, this was the perfect opportunity to problem-solve on both sides of the border.”

To that end, the research team developed “MyHouse Activity” and “MyWork Activity” signage that highlights ways to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week at home and at work, along with two or more strength exercises that engage all major muscle groups, as recommended by the United States Physical Activity Guidelines.

The Canadian focus group study is a result of Cavallini’s 11-month Fulbright Scholar Visiting Research Chair Grant at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. It was then that she became confident that lack of exercise actually has more to do with modifying everyday physical behavior and less to do with finding the time to sweat it out in a gym.

Dr. Cavallini’s presentations will focus on gender differences in relationship to barriers to exercise, physical activity implications to children based on the results of adults’ preferences for how they would prefer to meet recommended guidelines, and how to get more people moving with daily physical activity.

“The evidence collected from this study clearly suggests most people are not as interested in working out in a gym or engaging in the traditional forms of exercising such as jogging, lifting weights, or using elliptical or other exercise machines,” Cavallini said at the time the manuscript was published. “Rather, the results indicate a strong preference for making physical activity part of a daily lifestyle, be it in and around the home, at work or through active transportation.”

“MyHouse Activity” and “MyWork Activity” graphics have been placed in all the buildings on the Limestone College campus. The Radiology Oncology Department at the Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg has the signage in all of its examination rooms, and the University of Guelph is using them as well. The research team hopes to nationalize the visuals in both the United States and Canada. Dr. Cavallini has also developed similar “MyFirefighter Activity” graphics she hopes will soon be in all fire stations across South Carolina.