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Physical Activity Research At UBC

Across our campuses (and across the country) UBC faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral fellows are collaborating on exciting research to advance global understanding of physical activity. 

Here are just a few examples of ongoing physical activity research projects 

UBC School of Kinesiology: Move More

Eli Puterman, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Health discusses his research on the negative impacts of psychological stress and traumas on our physical health.


  • Lead: Dr. Guy Faulkner, Professor, Faculty of Education 
  • Other Collaborators & Partners: Madelaine Gierc, Postdoctoral fellow, School of Kinesiology


Dr. Guy Faulkner is currently conducting research that will examine how physical activity changes over the course of the pandemic, what factors influence whether a person is physically active, and how physical activity interacts with well-being. 

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global pandemic that presents a significant risk to human health and social functioning. The purpose of this research is to examine how public health protocols surrounding COVID-19 (e.g., social distancing) impact physical activity and mental well-being.

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Physical Activity as a Coping Strategy for Mental Health Due to the COVID-19 Virus: A Potential Disconnect Among Canadian Adults?
  • Guy Faulkner, School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia
  • Ryan E. Rhodes, Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, University of Victoria
  • Leigh M. Vanderloo, ParticipACTION, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Tala Chulak-Bozer,Child Health and Evaluative Sciences, Hospital for Sick Children
  •  Norm O'Reilly, School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, University of Guelph
  • Leah Ferguson, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan
  • John C. Spence, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta


This research explores how a representative sample of Canadian adults are coping with increased stress and mental health issues as a result of COVID-19 and identifies a potential disconnect between considering physical activity as a strategy to support social connection and stress management and how Canadians are coping with the pandemic. Given the protective role of physical activity in supporting mental health, our perspective is that health communication efforts should focus on the mental health benefits of physical activity, particularly during these uncertain times.

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New research about physical activity is helping to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries. 
UBC Okanagan School of Health and Exercise Science 

Lead: Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis



Affecting more than 85,000 Canadians, spinal cord injury (SCI) has been classified as one of the greatest survivable catastrophes experienced by a human. Although spinal damage is often irreversible, new research breakthroughs are helping to minimize disability after SCI and improve the quality of life for those affected.

Led by UBC Okanagan’s Martin Ginis, a professor with the Southern Medical Program and the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, a team of campus researchers are devoted to improving the health and well-being of people with SCI.

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We all have a hand in shaping campus environments that support health, wellbeing, and sustainability. By championing wellbeing, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities at UBC and beyond.