There are three general areas of research that are emphasized within the Exercise and Sport Psychology Lab. The first area of research centers on exercise and mental health, with a primary aim of testing both cognitive and physiological mechanisms for the mood enhancing effects of a single bout of exercise. Related projects are focused on testing the impact of chronic exercise on physical and general self-esteem. This research has investigated both aerobic and resistance exercise. The second area of research centers on the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating. Ongoing projects include the I-CAN! Project, Initiatives for Children’s Activity and Nutrition. This research project targets children’s behavior with school based interventions that are designed to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating. The third area of research focuses on diabetes prevention across the state of Texas through the promotion of physical activity.
Walk Texas! provides physical activity, evaluation, and nutrition technical assistance and expertise to state-funded community diabetes service projects as well as to the Diabetes Program/Council at the Department of State Health Services. Students involved in the Exercise and Sports Psychology Lab have opportunities to assist with research studies to gain valuable research experience.