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McNair Scholar 2015Kayla Cory

Kayla Cory is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Public Health. Her research interests include a focus on yoga, physical activity, children and adolescent obesity prevention. Ms. Cory intends to earn her Master in Public Health degree in Epidemiology.

Kayla Cory photo
My dream is to earn my Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. I want to be involved in the observation and control of diseases on a global perspective.

Research project

Effects of Yoga on Blood Pressure, Stress and Physical Activity in Overweight, African-American women

Abstract: African-American women are affected with high rates of overweight, obesity and weight-related chronic conditions, such as hypertension and chronic stress. Yoga, an increasingly popular physical activity, is well-known for its use for decreasing stress and increasing physical activity in different populations. However, it is unclear whether yoga is effective for increasing physical activity, and lowering blood pressure and stress levels in a high risk group such as African-American women. The purpose of the current study is to examine the benefits of yoga in overweight, African-American women. For this study, fifty overweight African-American women will be recruited to participate in a twelve-week yoga program, and will be randomized to an intervention group and a delayed-intervention control group. Participants in the intervention group will attend three 60-minute yoga sessions weekly that will be led by an African-American yoga instructor. To accommodate participants’ schedules, six in-person sessions will be offered, recorded and made available on a private YouTube channel each week. After the twelve-week intervention is complete, the delayed-intervention control group will offered in-person and online yoga sessions. To assess intervention receptivity and acceptability, focus groups will be conducted with intervention participants with the highest and lowest attendance rates. Results are pending, but will be available by Spring 2016. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Daheia Barr-Anderson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity subgroup within the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. Barr-Anderson received her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise epidemiology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests focus on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents. Barr-Anderson has presented at conferences around the world and has over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals.