In partnership with the University of Michigan, Michigan School Health Coordinators’ Association, and the Society of Health and Physical Educators, Michigan Public Health Institute, and the Michigan Department of Education have partnered to disseminate Interrupting Prolonged sitting at Home (InPACT@Home). InPACT@Home is an evidence-informed, home-based physical activity program that enables K-12 students to engage in health-enhancing physical activity. Children and youth will have access to 20-minute cardio workout videos that are developmentally appropriate and approved by pediatric exercise physiologists and physical education specialists. Videos will also include nutrition messaging, social emotional learning activities and will be accessible on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Because over 90% of Michigan households have access to a smartphone or a computer, we have the opportunity to reach children all across the state. For more information, visit the study website at: This project is funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan Public Health Institute.


The goal of this project is to create an effective and sustainable model that will enable a system-wide increase in physical activity levels among elementary school-aged children across the state of Michigan. We are conducting the foundational work needed to effectively integrate InPACT into intermediate school districts by: (1) adding classroom activity to local wellness policies and (2) creating a Technical Assistance Package to guide regional school health coordinators in their implementation and dissemination of the program. We are partnering with Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD), a low-resource, low-active community, to develop a model for effective program adoption, delivery, and sustainment, then will use this model to disseminate InPACT to other ISDs across the state. This project is funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.


In collaboration with the Environment & Policy Laboratory in which we are expanding the Healthy Communities Study (HCS). We are examining the effects of the built and social environment on childhood obesity. We plan to obtain data on a broad range of current and historical built and social environment characteristics of the HCS communities (i.e., food availability, park availability, food prices, physical activity facilities, land use, street connectivity, and crime) and then spatially link these data to the 5,000 families living in 130 geographically and racially diverse communities. This study combined with the parent study, will be one of the most comprehensive childhood obesity studies in terms of its size, scale, quality of measures, and potential for scientific contributions to prevent childhood obesity. This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Publications from this project are listed below:

  1. Y. Kim, L. Ritchie, A. Landgraf, R.E. Hasson, N. Colabianchi. The role of neighborhood social environment in physical activity among Hispanic children: moderation by cultural factors and mediation by neighborhood norms related to physical activity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17(24):9527, 2020.



In collaboration with the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning and School of Public Health’s Momentum Center, Active Class Space examined the classroom environments of 3rd - 5th grades with a goal of redesigning the typical classroom to make the environment conducive to increased movement and decreased sedentary behavior among students. This project was funded by the University of Michigan MCubed Program and the School of Public Health Momentum Center.

Publications from the Active Classroom study are listed below:

  1. U.S. Vance, R.E. Hasson, D. Stockdill, B. Ransier. Move Detroit: An Active Class Space Intervention. 105th ACSA Annual Meeting and Technology Conference Proceedings, 2017.

  2. M.P. O'Sullivan, M.R. Nagy, S.S. Block, T.R Tooley, L.E. Robinson, N. Colabianchi, R.E. Hasson. Acute compensatory responses to interrupting prolonged sitting with intermittent activity in preadolescent children. Pediatr Exerc  Sci, 12:1-21, 2017.

  3. M.R. Nagy, S.S. Block, T.R. Tooley, M.P. O’Sullivan, L.E. Robinson, N. Colabianchi, R.E. Hasson. Affective responses to intermittent physical activity in normal weight and overweight/obese elementary school-age children. J Phys Act Health. 6:1-24, 2017.

  4. T.A. Ajibewa, M.P. O’Sullivan, M.R. Nagy, S.S. Block, L.E. Robinson, N. Colabianchi, R.E. Hasson. The effects of interrupting prolonged sitting with intermittent activity on appetite sensations and subsequent food intake in preadolescent children. PLOS ONE, 12(12): e0188986, 2017.

  5. S.S. Block, T.R. Tooley, M.R. Nagy, M.P. O’Sullivan, L.E. Robinson, N. Colabianchi, R.E. Hasson. Acute effect of intermittent exercise and action-based videogame breaks on math performance in preadolescent children.  Pediatr. Exerc. Sci., 27:1-9, 2017.

  6. E. Weston, M.R. Nagy, T.A. Ajibewa, M.P. O’Sullivan, S.S. Block, R.E. Hasson. Acute effects of interrupting prolonged sitting with intermittent physical activity on blood pressure in preadolescent children. Pediatr. Exerc. Sci., 8:1-8, 2019.

  7. M.R. Nagy, M.P. O’SullivaN, S.S. Block, R.E. Hasson. Acute effects of intermittent physical activity on perceptions of exercise-related fatigue in children. J. Phys. Act. Health, 21:1-7, 2020.

  8. L.R. Beemer, E. Twardzik, N. Colabianchi, R.E. Hasson. Physical activity patterning and sedentary behavior at and away from school in preadolescent children. Am J Health Educ, 52:1, 48-55, 2021.


This study sought to better understand the role of cultural identity and identity-based motivation. These two cultural factors may help to explain gender disparities in pediatric obesity among African-American adolescent boys and girls. This project utilized Identity-Based Motivation Theory to clarify the complex relationships between culture, physical activity, diet and obesity risk. This study was funded by the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research.

Publications from the Health & Culture Project study are listed below:

  1. D. Nelson, J. Gerras, K.C. McGlumphy, E. Shaver, A.K. Gill, K. Kanneganti, T.A. Ajibewaa, R.E. Hasson. Racial discrimination and low parent education predict increased BMI in African American youth. Child Obes. 14(2): 114-121, 2018.

  2. K.C. McGlumphy, A.K. Gill, E.R. Shaver, T.A. Ajibewa, R.E. Hasson. Perceived stress predicts lower physical activity in African-American boys, but not girls. Am. J. Health Behav. 42(2): 93-105, 2018.

  3. E. Shaver, K.C. McGlumphy, A.K.Gill, R.E. Hasson. Application of the Transtheoretical Model to physical activity and exercise behaviors in African American adolescents. Am. J. Health Behav., 43(1):119-132, 2019.

  4. M.R. Nagy, K.C. McGlumphy, R. Dopp, T.C. Lewis, R.E. Hasson. Association between asthma, obesity and health behaviors in African American youth. J. Asthma 31:1-11, 2019.​

  5. K.C. McGlumphy, M.R. Damen, R.E. Hasson. Psychosocial stress and perceived oral health in African American youth.  Pediatr. Dentistry, 15;41(5):358-363, 2019.

  6. L. Allport, M. Song, C.W. Leung, K.C. McGlumphy, R.E. Hasson. Influence of parent stressors on adolescent obesity in African American youth. J. Obes., 2019:1316765, 2019.

  7. T.A. Ajibewa, L.R. Beemer, K.R. Sonneville, A.L. Miller, C. Toledo-Corral, L.R. Robinson, R.E. Hasson. Psychological stress and lowered physical activity enjoyment in adolescents with overweight/obesity. In press at Am J Health Promot., 2021.



This project investigated the role of stress on the health of Latino, African-American, and non-Latino white adolescents. In the United States alone, pediatric obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, particularly among certain racial/ethnic groups including Latinos and African-Americans. This innovative research study will help to clarify the interdependent relationships between stress and health behavior that contribute to disparities in pediatric obesity. The University of Michigan's Nutrition Obesity Research Center funded this project.

Publications from the Stress Reactivity in Adolescence study are listed below: 

  1. M.R. Nagy, A.K. Gill, T.E. Adams, J.E. Gerras, L.E. Mazin, C. Leung, R.E. Hasson. Stress-induced suppression of food intake in overweight and obese adolescents. Psychosom Med, 81(9):814-820, 2019.

  2. T.A. Ajibewa, T. Adams, A.K. Gill, L. Mazin, J. Gerras, R.E. Hasson. Stress coping strategies and stress reactivity in adolescents with overweight/obesity. In press at Stress and Health, 2020.


Type 2 diabetes has emerged as a significant health issue in obese youth, especially among certain racial/ethnic groups including African-Americans and Latinos. This disparity is partially attributable to greater insulin resistance observed in these two groups (relative to non-Latino whites). This study investigates the role of the social environment, particularly psychosocial stressors in shaping racial/ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes. This project was funded by the American Diabetes Association.

Publications from the Stress Reactivity in Adolescence study are listed below: 

  1. T.A. Ajibewa, M. Zhou, M.R. Barry, A.L. Miller, K.R. Sonneville, C.W. Leung, R.E. Hasson. Adolescent stress: a predictor of dieting behavior in youth with overweight/obesity.  Appetite, 2019:104560, 2019.

  2. J.A. Wexler, T.A. Ajibewa, J. Lee, C.Toledo-Corral, R.E. Hasson. Community violence exposure and cortisol awakening responses in adolescents with overweight and obesity. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 121:104842, 2020.


Childhood obesity is a national public health epidemic. Presently, obesity is estimated to affect nearly twenty-one percent of adolescents between the ages of twelve to nineteen years. One important but understudied risk factor for weight gain and obesity development is attitudes about healthy eating and physical activity participation. This study seeks to better understand how attitudes about eating and physical activity are formed in older adolescents. We are recruiting University of Michigan students 18-21 years old. This project is funded by the University of Michigan Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory.


 Children with asthma experience many barriers to physical activity, one of which is exercise itself can trigger an asthma attack. Asthma symptoms usually occur within 5 to 15 minutes after the initiation of exercise, making participation in sustained aerobic exercise difficult. This study examines the  feasibility  of  short  bouts  of  physical  activity in  children  with  and  without  asthma. Additionally,  this  study  is  examine  differences  in  exercise  tolerance,  exercise  enjoyment,  and  motor competency  in  children  with  and  without  asthma  aged  8-16  years. This project is funded by the University of Michigan MCubed Program and School of Kinesiology. For more information on how to participate in this study click here!


 INPACT is a novel classroom-based physical activity intervention to improve the fitness of both teachers and students, while simultaneously improving academic achievement. Our goal is to provide teachers with the necessary resources and instruction to lead their classes in 5, 4-minute activity breaks throughout the school day. These short duration activity breaks closely represent children's natural physical activity patterns and may be an effective tool at energizing and motivating students to be physically active. The aim is to provide students and teachers with a cumulative of 20 minutes of enjoyable exercise at a moderate-vigorous intensity each school day. INPACT has been implemented in four elementary schools: Anderson Elementary (Trenton), Eastabrook Elementary (Ypsilanti), Columbia Elementary (Brooklyn), and Munger Elementary-Middle School (Detroit). For more information, visit the study website at: The project was funded by the University of Michigan School of Public Health Momentum Center, University of Michigan MCubed program and the Michigan School of Kinesiology.

Publications from the InPACT project are listed below:

  1. L.R. Beemer, T.A. Ajibewa, M.P. O’Sullivan, M.R. Nagy, B. Ransier, U.S. Vance, D. Stockdill, N. Colabianchi, R.E. Hasson. Feasibility of the InPACT Intervention to enhance movement and learning in the classroom. TJACSM 3(18):136-172, 2018.

  2. L.R. Beemer, T.A. Ajibewa, G. DellaVecchia, R.E. Hasson. A pilot intervention using gamification to enhance student participation in classroom activity breaks. Int J Environ Res Public Health,16(21):E4082, 2019.

  3. R.E. Hasson, L.R. Beemer, T.A. Ajibewa, A.B. Eisman. Adapting the InPACT intervention to enhance implementation fidelity and flexibility. In press at Prevention Science, 2021.