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HWPE currently offers one service-learning designated course: PE 205 Health Effects of Exercise (Fall only). This course explores the physical and mental health benefits and risks of exercise, including mediators and moderators; and behavioral health theories and strategies for exercise compliance. Students actively apply knowledge by working with Bull City Fit, an exercise program affiliated with Healthy Lifestyles, the Duke Pediatric Obesity program; and other community physical activity programs.
Currently funded by a Bass Connections grant, the EMH team examines the effects of exercise on multiple aspects of cognition (executive function, working memory, cognitive decline, etc.) and mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, stress, body image, disordered eating). The team is led by Dr. Kim McNally and includes Rec & PE instructors (Sheri Branson and Jeremiah Horne)as well as research collaborators from the Duke Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and Duke Health. The EMH team primarily studies exercise effects for the college-aged population, considering demographic and contextual factors such as age, gender, and the academic and social pressures unique to the college experience. Their work seeks to extend the current exercise and mental health literature by comparing different exercise types and intensities (e.g., aerobic and strength training) and describing mediators and moderators for the effect of exercise on mental health. Current projects include a study on strength training and positive body image and one on strength training and stress reactivity. Students interested in volunteering for research experience should contact email@example.com. Students interested in conducting research for academic credit can apply to the EMH Bass Connections team.
HWPE faculty offer several visiting lectures across campus. Dr. Kim McNally currently delivers a monthly workshop on Physical Activity Counseling for the Pediatric Residents in the Community rotation. This workshop examines the research evidence for the clinical health benefits of exercise, the current exercise guidelines, and exercise counseling strategies clinicians can use to increase patient compliance. Dr. McNally also offers a quarterly lecture in Exercise Physiology for Sports Medicine Fellows. This workshop considers the metabolic, musculoskeletal, and cardiorespiratory adaptations of exercise and the implications for health and performance. Furthermore, Dr. McNally periodically offers workshops on physical activity and health through Duke Health events and class at the Teer House and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke.
HWPE activity class instructors may offer private and custom classes through the Duke Rec program. For more information contact The Director of Undergraduate Studies.