Zan Gao, PhD

Gao

Assistant Professor, Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity


Areas of Interest

Physical activity epidemiology, physical activity interventions, Physical activity measurement, active video games

      Graduate education faculty

Director, Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory

Dr. Zan Gao obtained his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2007. He is a faculty at the School of Kinesiology in University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, specializing in physical activity and health. Dr. Gao’s research has primarily focused on promoting health through population-based physical activity interventions. In the past several years, Dr. Gao has given over 120 presentations at various international and national conferences. He has also published 40 first authored book chapters and research articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Obesity Review, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES), and the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education (JTPE). Dr. Gao has been the recipient of several international and national awards, including the 2008 National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education Hally Beth Poindexter Young Scholar Award, 2009 American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) Mabel Lee Award, and 2013 National Association for Sport and Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction Heitmann Young Scholar Award. Dr. Gao has been the principal investigator of National Institute of Health research grant, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant and AAHPERD Seed Grant. He also serves as a reviewer for many journals including, but not limited to RQES, JTPE, the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, and Journal of School Health, as the Section Editor for Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, the review board member for Middle Grade Research Journal, the Editorial Board Member for the JTPE, and Editor for Column-Research, Teaching, and Media in Kinesiology. He is currently the Fellow of American College of Sports Medicine, and the Fellow of AAHPERD Research Consortium. 

Personal Webpage                                     Updated Curriculum Vitae

CEHD Administration,School of Kinesiology

207 Cooke Hall
1900 University Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Tel: 612-626-4639

Fax: 612-626-7700

Curriculum Vitae


Degrees

Ph.D., 2003-2007, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, U.S.
Major: Kinesiology
Minor: Experimental Statistics

M.Ed., 1996-1999, Beijing Sport University Beijing, China
Major: Physical Education Teaching and Coaching

B.Ed., 1992-1996, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China
Major: Physical Education

Research Interests

  • Population-based physical activity promotion to fight childhood obesity
  • Application of modern technology (e.g., active video games, smartphone Apps) in interventions to promote physical activity and health
  • Psychosocial and behavioral correlates/determinants of physical activity behavior
  • Children’s motor skill, physical activity, fitness, cognition and academic achievement
  • Health disparities and physical activity

Academic appointments

August 2012 - present

Assistant Professor,  School of Kinesiology, The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

August 2010 - August 2012

Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, Lubbock, TX.

August 2010 - July 2014

Adjunct Professor, University of Utah, College of Health, Department of Exercise and Sport Science. Salt Lake City, UT.

July 2007 - July 2010

Assistant Professor, University of Utah, College of Health, Department of Exercise and Sport Science. Salt Lake City, UT.

Selected Research Grants

  • Gao, Z. (2014-2015).Impact of Exergaming on Urban Children’s Physical and Psychosocial Health. University of Minnesota, Office of Vice President for Research Grant-In-Aid. Funded. $32,109. (PI)
  • Steinberger, J., Dengel, D., Gao, Z., Gilchrist, L., Hodges, J., Sadak, K. (2014-2015). Effect of a Home-based Fitness Intervention on Cardiometabolic Risk Profile in Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). University of Minnesota, Academic Health Center’s Small Grants Program. Funded. $30,000. (Co-I)
  • Gao, Z. (2013-2014). Impact of Exergaming on Children’s Cardiovascular Fitness and Classroom Behaviors. University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development. Funded. $5,000. (PI)
  • Gao, Z., Stodden, D., & Feng, D. (2012-2015). Impact of Interactive Video Games on Underserved Children’s Health. National Institutes of Health PA-10-070 Academic Research Enhancement Award (Parent R15: 1R15HD071514-01A1). Priority Score: 20. Funded. $432,225. (PI).
  • Gao, Z. (2011). Institute for Inclusive Excellence. Texas Tech University Office of the Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement. $1,000. Funded. (PI)
  • Gao, Z., & Valdez, V.E. (2009-2011). Impact of Physical Activities on Urban Latino Children’s Physical Fitness, Self-esteem and Academic Performance. The University of Utah Interdisciplinary Seed Grant. $12,000. Funded. (PI).
  • Gao, Z., Montenegro, R., Valdez, V.E., Hannon, J.C., & Xiang, P. (2009-2011). Integrating Dance Dance Revolution to Promote Urban Latino School Children’s Physical Health and Academic Achievement: Project GAME. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Salud America! $74,041. Funded. (PI).
  • Gao, Z., Hannon, J.C., & Newton, M. (2010-2013). The Impact of Classroom-based Physical Activity (Take 10!) on Underserved Children’s Exercise Motivation and Physical Health. The University of Utah College of Health Research and Creative Grant Competition. $5,000. Funded. (PI).
  • Huang, C., & Gao, Z. (2009-2010). Effect of Aerobic Exercises on Children’s Exercise Determinants and Behaviors. The University of Utah PEAK Academy Graduate Research Award. $1,500. Funded. (Faculty Mentor).
  • Newton, M., Hannon, J. C., Gao, Z., & Paisley, K. (2009-2010). Predictors of Sportpersonship and Motivation in High School Athletes. The University of Utah College of Health Research and Creative Grant Competition. $6,200. Funded. (Co-I).
  • Richardson, G., Summerhays, J., Hannon, J.C., Compton, D., Ellis, G., & Gao, Z. (2009-2011). Tipping the Scales towards a Healthier Population: The Utah Blueprint to Promote Healthy Weight for Children, Youth, and Adults. The Utah Partnership for Health Weight. $200,000. Funded. (Co-I).
  • Gao, Z., Hannon, J.C., & Newton, M. (2008-2010). The Effects of Goal Setting on Overweight Students’ Physical Activity Levels and Performance in the Dance Dance Revolution Program. The University of Utah College of Health Research and Creative Grant Competition. $7,500. Funded. (PI).
  • Gao, Z., Hannon, J.C., & Newton, M. (2008-2010). The Effects of Curricular Activity on Students’ Situational Motivation and Physical Activity Levels in Physical Education. AAHPERD Research Consortium Seed Grants. $5,000. Funded. (PI).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2013 - Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine
  • 2013 - National Association for Sport and Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction Heitmann Young Scholar Award
  • 2011 - Fellow, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Research Consortium
  • 2011 - International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health Outstanding Service Award
  • 2010 - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Graduate Student Research Award (Mentee)
  • 2009 - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Mabel Lee Award
  • 2008 - The National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education Hally Beth Poindexter Young Scholar Award
  • 2007 - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship Award
  • 2006 - Graduate Research Award by the American Educational Research Association, Special Interest Group - Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education

Selected Publications

  1. Gao, Z., & Chen, S. (2014). Are field-based exergames useful in preventing childhood obesity? A systematic review. Obesity Review, 15, 676-691. 

    Gao, Z., & Chen, S. (2014). Response to letter: No clear evidence that exergames can prevent obesity. Obesity Review, 15, 694-695. 

    Gao, Z., & Xiang, P. (2014). Effects of exergaming based exercise on urban children’s physical activity participation and body composition. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 

    Gao, Z., Zhang, P., & Podlog, L. (2013). Examining elementary school children’s enjoyment of traditional tag games versus interactive dance games. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 1-9. 

    Gao, Z., Hannan, P. F., Xiang, P., Stodden, D., & Valdez, V. (2013). Video game–based exercise, Latino children’s physical health, and academic achievement. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(3S3), s240-s246.

    Gao, Z., & Podlog, L. (2012). Urban Latino children’s physical activity levels and performance in interactive video dance games: Effects of goal difficulty and goal specificity. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine,166(10), 933-937. 

    Gao, Z., Xiang, P., Lochbaum, M., & Guan, J. (2013). The impact of achievement goals on cardiorespiratory fitness: Does self-efficacy make a difference? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 84(3), 313-322.

    Gao, Z., Huang, C., Liu, T., & Xiong, W. (2012). Impact of interactive dance games on urban children’s physical activity correlates and behavior. Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness. 10,107-112..

    Gao, Z., Zhang, T., & Stodden, D. (2013). Children’s physical activity levels and their psychological correlated in interactive dance versus aerobic dance. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2, 146-151. 

  2. Gao, Z. (2013). The impact of an exergaming intervention on urban school children’s physical activity levels and academic outcomes. Asian Journal of Exercise and Sport Science, 10(2).

    Gao, Z., Podlog, L., & Huang, C. (2013). Associations among children’s situational motivation, physical activity participation, and enjoyment in an interactive dance game. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2, 122-128.

    Gao, Z. (2012). Urban Latino school children’s physical activity correlates and daily physical activity participation: A social cognitive perspective. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 1-9. DOI:10.1080/13548506.2011.647699

    Gao, Z. (2012). Motivated but not active: The dilemmas of incorporating interactive dance into gym class. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9, 794-800.

    Gao, Z., Podlog, L., & Harrison, L. (2012). College students’ goal orientations, situational motivation and effort/persistence in physical activity. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 31, 246-260.

    Huang, C., & Gao, Z. (2012). Associations between students’ situational interest, mastery experience, and physical activity levels in interactive dance. Psychology, Health and Medicine, DOI:10.1080/13548506.2012.712703.

  3. Gao, Z., Hannon, J.C., Newton, M., & Huang, C. (2011). The effects of curricular activity on students’ situational motivation and physical activity levels. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(3), 536-544.

    Gao, Z., Lochbaum, M., & Podlog, L. (2011). Self-efficacy as a mediator of children’s achievement motivation and in-class physical activity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 113(3), 969-981.

    Gao, Z., Liu, Y., Lodewyk, K., Zhang, T., & Kosma, M. (2011). Reliability and validity of outcome expectancy-related measures in physical education. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 15, 155-167.

    Gao, Z., Oh, H., & Sheng, H. (2011). Middle school students’ body mass index and physical activity levels in physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82 (1), 145-150.

    Gao, Z., Xiang, P., Lee, A.M., & Kosma, M. (2011). Effect of learning activity on students’ motivation, physical activity participation and effort/persistence. International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Journal of Research, 6(1), 27-33.

    Xiang, P., Gao, Z., & McBride, R. (2011). Examining student teachers’ use of instructional choice in physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(3), 482-490.

    Gao, Z., Lee, A.M., Solmon, M.A., Kosma, M., Carson, R.L., Zhang, T., Domangue, E., & Moore, D. (2010). Validating pedometer-based physical activity time against accelerometer in middle school physical education. International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Journal of Research, 4(1), 11-16.

    Gao, Z., Lee, A.M., Kosma, M., & Solmon, M.A. (2010). Understanding students’ motivation in middle school physical education: Examining the mediating role of self-efficacy on physical activity. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 41, 199-215.

    Gao, Z. (2009). Students’ motivation, engagement, satisfaction, and cardiorespiratory fitness in physical education. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 21,102-115.

    Gao, Z., Kosma, M., & Harrison, L. Jr. (2009). Ability beliefs, task value, and performance as a function of race in a dart-throwing task. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 80, 122-130.

    Gao, Z., Lee, A.M., Solmon, M.A., & Zhang, T. (2009). Changes of middle school students’ motivation toward physical education over one school year. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 28, 378-399.

    Gao, Z., Lodewyk, K., & Zhang, T. (2009). The role of ability beliefs and incentives in middle school students’ intentions, cardiovascular fitness, and effort. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 28, 3-20.

    Gao, Z., & Kosma, M. (2008). Intention as a mediator of weight training behavior among college students: An integrative framework. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 20, 363-374.

    Gao, Z., Lee, A.M., & Harrison, L. Jr. (2008). Understanding students’ motivation in sport and physical education: From the expectancy-value model and self-efficacy theory perspectives. Quest, 60, 236-254.

    Gao, Z., Newton, M., & Carson, R.L. (2008). Students’ motivation, physical activity levels, and health-related physical fitness in fitness class. Middle Grades Research Journal, 3(4), 21-39.

    Gao, Z., & Xiang, P. (2008). College students’ motivation toward weight training class: An application of Expectancy-value Model. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 27, 399-415.

    Gao, Z., Xiang, P., Harrison, L. Jr., Guan, J., & Rao, Y. (2008). A cross-cultural analysis of self-efficacy and achievement goals between American and Chinese college students in physical education. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 39, 1-18.

    Gao, Z., Xiang, P., Lee, A.M., & Harrison, L. Jr. (2008). Self-efficacy and outcome expectancy in beginning weight training class: Their relations to behavioral intentions and actual behavior. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79, 92-100.

    Lu, C., & Gao, Z. (2012 summer, in press). Traditional Chinese Physical ActivitiesIn Cothran, D.J. (Ed.), Learning for a lifetime: Effective secondary physical education programs. Beijing, China: Higher Education Press.

    Gao, Z. (2012, in press). Impact of an interactive video game on urban children’s academic motivation and performance. International Society of Comparative Physical Education and Sport Text.

    Gao, Z., Xiang, P., & Lochbaum, M. (2013, in press). Relations of children’s hierarchical ability beliefs to their cardiovascular fitness, physical activity levels and persistence/effort. Current Issues in Contemporary Comparative Physical Education and Sport, 119-127.

Presentations

  1. Click the link here


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Last modified on 7/25/2013