Physical Activity and Health

Physical Activity and Health - Physical Activity & Health

Overview

The Physical Activity and Health Concentration provides opportunities and training for students to focus practice and/or research activities on physical activity assessment, epidemiologic methods, intervention planning, physiologic mechanisms and health outcomes, and policy development. The emergence of the field of physical activity and public health is a result of the alignment of public health science and exercise science. Early etiologic studies into the mechanisms and related benefits of physical activity on health and disease have expanded to include improvements in assessment and surveillance. The emergence of a robust literature on behavioral, environmental, and policy approaches to physical activity promotion has allowed this field to expand into a multi-disciplinary one.

The goal of the Physical Activity and Health Concentration is to prepare students to enter the public health and health care workforce with an understanding of the role of physical activity in disease prevention, including related biological and physiological mechanisms, physical activity assessment, health behavior change, public health practice, programming, and policy. This concentration also focuses on the possible causes and consequences of physical inactivity on health in individuals and populations and provides hands-on opportunities for skills development in the areas of measurement, intervention, and environmental and policy change.

After enrollment in a degree program, students in any department, and at any campus may elect to add this concentration to their course of study. Students elect the Physical Activity and Health Concentration by completing the required request form that must be signed by the student’s academic advisor and a member of the Physical Activity and Health Concentration faculty who agrees to serve on the student’s advisory committee.

Course of Study

The concentration will require the completion of 12 credit hours – six (6) credit hours of required courses and six (6) credit hours of electives with physical activity content. Some of the concentration courses may also count as degree program major, minor, or breadth requirements. Physical Activity and Health Concentration students in degree programs requiring a practicum must have an experience that is relevant to physical activity and health. Students in the concentration completing a thesis or dissertation must select a topic relevant to physical activity and health. The faculty member representing the Physical Activity and Health Concentration will determine if the student has met the requirements of the concentration. Completion of the concentration is noted on the student’s transcript.

Students in the Physical Activity and Health Concentration must complete PH 5400, either PH 5401 or PH 5402, and at least two elective courses (6 credit hours) selected from the list below or approved by the concentration advisor. 

Required Courses, Physical Activity and Health Concentration

PH 5400 Physical Activity Assessment and Surveillance
Gabriel, 3 credits, cd
This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the various methods used to measure physical activity and related constructs (e.g., energy expenditure and physical fitness) in individuals and populations. This understanding will be achieved through a review of the current research literature related to measurement methods and hands-on practice experiences with various physical activity measurement methods (i.e., data collection to interpretation). Behavioral, environmental, and policy-related correlates and determinants of physical activity will also be discussed.
This course is required for students enrolled in the Physical Activity and Health Concentration.

Complete one of the following 3-credit hour courses:

PH 5401 Physical Activity and Public Health Practice
Kohl, 3 credits, a (even-numbered years)
This course provides a forum that promotes an understanding of effective practice strategies for implementation of public health programming related to physical activity. This understanding will be approached through review of the current research literature with a focus on the “Guide to Community Preventive Services” recommendations for physical activity. Topics in the course will focus on evidence-based strategies, as well as effective approaches to program development, implementation, and evaluation.

PHM/PHD 5402 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity
Taylor, 3 credits, b
This course focuses on theory-based approaches for promoting physical activity from a behavioral sciences perspective. Topics include evidence and approaches to increase physical activity among racially/ethnically diverse groups and underserved populations (e.g., youth, older adults, adults with chronic conditions, and disabilities).

Elective Courses, Physical Activity and Health Concentration

Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
PHM/PHD 1113 Advanced Methods for Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs (Intervention Mapping)
PHM/PHD 1116 Advanced Methods for Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs (Intervention Mapping)
PHM/PHD 1117 Advanced Methods for Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs (Intervention Mapping) - Part II
PH 1237 Obesity, Nutrition & Physical Activity Seminar (1 semester)
PH 1498 Disability and Public Health (Special Topics course)

Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
PH 2615 Epidemiology II
PH 2720 Epidemiology Proposal Development
PH 2735 Physical Activity and Health: Epidemiology and Mechanisms (offered in odd-numbered years and may be substituted for PH 5401)
PHD 2770 NIH Proposal Development

Interdepartmental
PH 5099 Independent Study
PH 5301 and PH 5311 Maternal and Child Health Core Training Seminar I and II

Faculty

Physical Activity and Health Concentration

Faculty Coordinators:
Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III, PhD – Harold.W.Kohl@uth.tmc.edu
Kelley P. Gabriel, PhD – Kelley.P.Gabriel@uth.tmc.edu   

Austin
Kelley P. Gabriel, PhD
Deanna M. Hoelscher, PhD, RD, LD, CNS
Steven H. Kelder, PhD, MPH
Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III, PhD
Adriana Perez, PhD - Austin
Andrew E. Springer, DrPH

Brownsville
Belinda M. Reininger, DrPH

Houston
Casey P. Durand, PhD
Wendell C. Taylor, PhD, MPH