The Physical Activity and Sport Science (PASS) emphasis area and lab (located in Cooke Hall 108) centers on the broad context of human physical activity, defined as physical movement that results in the body working harder than normal through increased energy expenditure beyond resting levels.

Faculty in this area conduct multi-and inter-disciplinary research that translates into understanding issues of practical importance to physical activity promotion, such as:

  • theory-based physical activity interventions delivered through in-person sessions, worksites, schools, telephone, mail, and/or Internet channels to promote health behavior
  • evaluation of positive youth development outcomes achieved through physical activity contexts
  • evidence-based youth sport parenting and coaching education community youth sport programs
  • advocacy for gender equity on behalf of girls and women in sport
  • critique of social structures (e.g., media, youth sport organizations, families, schools) and social constructions (e.g., gender, race, sexual identity, class) that inhibit, prevent, or promote participation or careers in physical activity contexts
  • holistic health promotion through physical activity and sport
  • educational interventions for managing the psychological and social aspects of sport injury rehabilitation.


Affiliated labs
Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL)

Daheia Barr-Anderson, lab director

Link: z.umn.edu/bpal



Exercise & Mental Health Laboratory (EMHL)

Beth Lewis, lab director

Link: emh.umn.edu



Sports Medicine Psychology Lab (SMPL)

Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, lab director

Link: z.umn.edu/smpl



Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport

Mary Jo Kane, center director

Nicole Lavoi, center co-director

Link: tuckercenter.org


Selected projects
Impact of an East African Mother-Daughter Physical Activity Program and Co-Designed Activewear

Chelsey Thul, Co-PI

Link: umnkinesiology.wordpress.com



Girls on the Run

Maureen Weiss, PI

Link: girlsontherun.org


Affiliated faculty
Daheia Barr-Anderson, PhD

Childhood and adolescent obesity, physical activity epidemiology

612-301-1309
barra027@umn.edu


Jo Ann Buysse, PhD

Sport sociology, sport media, gender equity, human rights, global sport issues.

612-625-5331
buyss003@umn.edu


Mary Jo Kane, PhD

Sport sociology, Title IX

612-625-3870
maryjo@umn.edu


Nicole M. LaVoi, PhD

Sport psychology, sport sociology, girls and women in sports

612-626-6055
nmlavoi@umn.edu


Beth Lewis, PhD

Physical activity promotion, behavioral interventions for physical activity, exercise and mental health

612-625-0756
blewis@umn.edu


Chelsey Thul, PhD

Community-engaged scholarship, youth empowerment, physical activity promotion, healthy equity

612-301-1382
rodd0020@umn.edu


Maureen Weiss, PhD

Youth development through sport and physical activity, including motivation, self-perceptions, social relationships, and moral development

612-625-4155
mrweiss@umn.edu


Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, PhD

Sports medicine psychology, youth sport science

612-625-6580
dwiese@umn.edu