Office of Undergraduate Research

Understanding Multi-Level Barriers to Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in Older Adults

This project addresses our limited knowledge of the physical, psychosocial, and environmental factors associated with reduced physical activity and relative impacts of these factors on cardiovascular risk in older adults. This study will enable us to design, test, and implement more effective targeted physical activity interventions in at risk older adults. 120 participants (65-90 yrs of age) will be recruited. The study will consist of 3 visits to the Physical Activity and Health Research Laboratory at UWM. Visit 1: Study introduction, informed consent, health history, general demographics, instructions to wear a physical activity monitor for a week. Visit 2: Pen and paper surveys for psychosocial constructs and environmental supports to activity, flow-mediated dilation via 2-D ultrasound, instructions to wear another physical activity monitor for a week. Visit 3: Blood draw for vascular and metabolic health markers, and body composition assessment.

Tasks and responsibilities:

To engage in a rigorous training program resulting in proficiencies in measures of the following research laboratory skills: height, weight, body circumferences, resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, body composition via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and phlebotomy skills for blood draw. Students will learn the aforementioned laboratory research skills, and also assist in data collection efforts pertinent to these acquired skills as part of the overall research protocol. This will also include observation/participation of the protection of human subjects, other data collection methods pertinent to the protocol and research data management.