Harold W. (Bill) Kohl, III, PhD

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Professor, Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
Associate Campus Dean of Academic Affairs, UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Campus

Dr. Kohl served as lead epidemiologist and team leader in the Physical Activity and Health Branch of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the CDC in Atlanta. In 2006 he was tapped to help create the first U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines, which were published in 2008. Since 1984 he has worked in the area of physical activity and health, including conducting research, developing and evaluating intervention programs for adults and children, and developing and advising on policy issues. 

He has served as an elected Trustee and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and is a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology. He is the founder and past-president of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health. He has served in an editorial capacity for several scientific journals and is currently Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. He served as Chair of an Institute of Medicine committee at the National Academies of Science on physical activity and physical education in school-based settings and is a past Chair of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Dr. Kohl currently serves on the Board of Directors of the US Physical Activity Alliance and Marathon Kids.  He has published more than 250 papers, chapters and monographs in the scientific literature and in 2012 co-authored the textbook Foundations of Physical Activity and Public Health now in its second edition.

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Current Projects

STREETS (Safe TRavel Environment Evaluation in Texas Schools)

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The STREETS Study (Safe TRavel Environment Evaluation in Texas Schools) is a five-year (2018 – 2023) natural experiment that is evaluating the City of Austin Safe Routes to School program.

Recent Publications

School-Level Economic Disparities in Police-Reported Crimes and Active Commuting to School.

Burford, K.; Ganzar, L.A.; Lanza, K.; Kohl, H.W., III; Hoelscher, D.M. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10885. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010885) PMCID: PMC8535774

School parks as a community health resource: Use of joint-use parks by children before and during COVID-19 pandemic

(Lanza, K., Durand, C. P., Alcazar, M., Ehlers, S., Zhang, K., & Kohl III, H. W. (2021). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.)

Estimated Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in the Texas Pediatric Population, 2021.

(Messiah, S., Valerio-Shewmaker, M.A., DeSantis, S.M., Swartz, M.D., Yaseen, A., Brito, F.A., Kohl III, H.W., Kelder, S.H., Aguillard, K., Omega-Njemnobi, O.S. and Breaux, C., The Lancet, June 2021.)

Y-PATHS: A conceptual framework for classifying the timing, how, and setting of youth physical activity.

(Szeszulski, J., Lanza, K., Dooley, E., Johnson, A. M., Knell, G., Walker, T. J., Craig, D. W., Robertson, M. C., Salvo, D., & Kohl III, H. W. (2021). Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 18(3), 310-317)

Prevalence and likelihood of meeting sleep, physical activity, and screen-time guidelines among US youth

Knell, G., Durand, C. P., Kohl, H. W., 3rd, Wu, I., & Pettee Gabriel, K. (2019). JAMA pediatrics, 173(4), 387–389.

Recent News

UT Health's antibody research project lets anyone from 5 to 80 find out their number

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Are you worried about your vaccine shot wearing off? Do you think you might need a booster soon? How much natural immunity do your kids have?

30% of Texans have evidence of COVID-19 antibodies, UT health and other researchers find

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Researchers with the University of Texas Health Science Center and the Texas Department of State Health Services have seen an uptick in people participating in the Texas Cares antibody survey.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kohl Named NPAPA Chair

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The National Physical Activity Plan is a full and well-rounded approach to increasing physical activity in the US population through the creation of policies, programs, and initiatives focused on this issue.