Dr. Felicia Cavallini, Limestone Students Published In Research Journal

Charles Wyatt
Dr. Felicia Cavallini, Limestone Students Published In Research Journal

Limestone University Professor of Physical Education and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Felicia Cavallini recently had her peer review research journal manuscript published in the Journal of Physical Activity Research.

The journal publishes original research and communication papers concerning the interdisciplinary field of physical activity both as a health outcome as well as a risk factor.

The research article, “Affective Benefits are as Important as the Awareness of Improved Health as Motivators to be Physically Active,” was conducted not only by Cavallini, but also by two of Limestone’s students, Taylor Gomes and Lexi Noti. Dr. David Dyck from the University of Guelph is also an author on the publication.

The research explores the fact that most Americans and Canadians do not meet the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity plus two or more strengthening activities per week. The purpose of the study was to survey and compare the top motivators of activity for adults in Southern Ontario and South Carolina. In addition to better health, Cavallini and her team hypothesized that affective motivators such as “feeling good and happier afterwards” would be indicated as preferred motivator towards exercise.

“These results point to the fact that people realize better health is a positive outcome when engaged in day-to-day physical activity, but equally or more important is the affective benefit of physical activity,” Cavallini said.

“Feeling good about oneself and happier afterwards is a powerful sensation for many and more educational and motivational efforts need to be channeled in this direction to help people connect with why they will want to be more physically active. Losing and maintaining weight, which was the third most popular motivator to engaging in physical activity, also makes a person feel good. This in turn can lead to higher levels of self-esteem, which can ultimately lead to greater success professionally and personally.”

The custom graphics “MyWalking Activity” and “MyResistance Activity” were introduced in the research to visually encapsulates awareness, connection, and education in lifestyle physical activity at home and in the surrounding environment.

Cavallini was awarded the prestigious, internationally distinguished Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant for 2014-2015 as a Visiting Research Chair in the Human Health and Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Guelph. Following her time in Guelph, Cavallini and her research team created graphics to represent their findings. The graphics reflected the data gained from 13 diverse focus groups held during Cavallini’s time in Canada. The “MyHouse Activity” and “MyWork Activity” graphics were then placed in all the buildings on the Limestone University campus. The Radiology Oncology Department at the Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg has the signage in all its examination rooms, and the University of Guelph is using them as well. 

Accompanying Photo: (Left to right) Lexi Noti, Dr. Felicia Cavallini, and Taylor Gomes pictured at the American Association of Behavioral and Social Science Conference in Las Vegas this past February.