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Recently posted in Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory

ACH.jpg Dr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), and Dr. Donald Dengel, professor of kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), are co-investigators of a recently funded Academic Health Center Seed Grant titled, "Effect of a Home-based Fitness Intervention on Cardiometabolic Risk Profile in Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)." This seed grant is a pilot feasibility study to collect preliminary data for a large-scale exergaming intervention in children undergoing maintenance therapy for ALL.

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), has recently has been awarded a Grant-in-Aid from the University's Office of the Vice President for Research, for his work on exergaming.

Gao's work is titled, "Effects of Exergaming on Urban Children's Physical Activity and Body Composition," and was designed to examine the impact of exergaming on underserved urban children's physical activity levels and body composition, as well as mediating role of psychosocial beliefs on the effects of exergaming.

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), recently had two chapters published in Current Issues in Contemporary Comparative Physical Education and Sport, edited by Martin Holzweg and John Saunders.

Gao is the first author in a chapter titled, "Relations of children's hierarchical ability beliefs to their cardiovascular fitness, physical activity levels and persistence/effort." This chapter examined the predictive strengths of children's situational-specific ability beliefs (self-efficacy), contextual ability beliefs (competence beliefs), and global ability beliefs (perceived physical ability) on their cardiovascular fitness, in-class physical activity levels and persistence/effort. The findings suggest that self-efficacy was the best predictor of children's cardiovascular fitness and physical activity levels. However, competence beliefs made more contribution to the prediction of children's persistence/effort.

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), recently had two research articles published as lead author.

The first study is titled, "Examining elementary school children's level of enjoyment of traditional tag games vs. interactive dance games," and was published by Psychology, Health & Medicine. Gao's research found that children reported significantly higher scores in enjoyment toward exergaming than they did toward traditional physical education games.

The second study, "The impact of an exergaming intervention on urban school children's physical activity levels and academic outcomes," was published in Asian Journal of Exercise and Sport Science. The findings from this study suggest that the implementation of exergaming could have a positive effect on urban children's physical activity levels, task values toward mathematics, and mathematics grades over time.

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), was featured on KSTP in a feature on how "Exercise-Based Video Games May Improve Students' Fitness, Grades."

The piece describes the concept of exergaming and how Gao is working with the Ann Sullivan school in Minneapolis on his research. His previous studies point to many different benefits of exergaming for students.

Exergaming is great for fitness because students are moving, according to Gao. But it may also "...help improve grades because it forces students to use the same part of their brain as they might for -- as an example -- a math problem," he said.

Research on exergaming and its impact on grades will begin next week in the school.

See the KSTP story below and read more on Gao's research.


Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), published an article in the September issue of Journal of Sport and Health Science. The purpose of this study was to compare children's physical activity levels, self-efficacy, and enjoyment when experiencing Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and aerobic dance.

Gao's research on this topic was also recently featured in the CEHD Vision 2020 Blog in an article titled, "Yes, Video Games Can Combat Childhood Obesity."

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology, had his work on exergaming featured in the CEHD Vision 2020 Blog.

The feature is titled, "Yes, Video Games Can Combat Childhood Obesity," and explains the emergence of exergaming and evidence-based benefits of exergaming. He also shares some tips for parents to best take advantage of exergaming activities for children:
1. Proper training and instruction is important
2. Set and define the learning objectives of exergaming
3. Create a routine
4. Do it together!

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology, recently had two research articles accepted for publication in the September issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.

Gao served as lead author in an article titled, "The impact of achievement goals on cardiorespiratory fitness: Does self-efficacy make a difference?" This research tested a model of the mediating role of self-efficacy on children's achievement goals in relationship to cardiorespiratory fitness. In addition, he was co-author in, "Associations among motor skill competence and health-related fitness: Evidence for Seefeldt's proficiency barrier in young adults?" The lead author David Stodden is a collaborator from University of South Carolina.

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology, had an article published in, Journal of Athletic Training.

Gao is the second author in the article titled, "Injury rehabilitation overadherence: Preliminary scale validation and relationships with athletic identity and self-presentation concerns." The study was designed to provide initial validation of a novel injury-rehabilitation overadherence measure and to examine correlates of overadherence and risking a premature return to sport. Gao contributed to the data analyses and presentation of the results for the study.

Dr. Zan GaoDr. Zan Gao, assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology, was the lead author in the research article titled, "Associations among children's situational motivation, physical activity participation, and enjoyment in an interactive dance game." The article was published in the June issue of, Journal of Sport and Health Science. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between children's situational motivation and physical activity levels in a Dance Dance Revolution program and perceived physical activity enjoyment.

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