We conduct and commission top-quality research to build evidence on policies and practices that promote safe and developmentally appropriate physical activity for toddlers, children and their families and create a Culture of Health. Our research focuses on children in lower-income communities from diverse racial and ethnic groups, who typically have fewer opportunities to be active. All PARC research projects were identified as high priority during development of our Research Agenda.
To provide timely evidence for advocates and policymakers, we also commission research projects to fill knowledge gaps in key physical activity policy areas identified by Voices for Healthy Kids.
All PARC studies will have related communication products available to increase relevance to the work of policy and advocacy audiences.
PARC Overview Articles:
- Building evidence to reduce inequities in youth physical activity and obesity: Introduction to the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC) Special Section. in Preventive Medicine 2019, 129. doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105767.
- Challenges recruiting diverse youth for physical activity research in Preventive Medicine 2020, 131. doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105888.
Click on the appropriate link below to learn more about our studies.
PARC RESEARCH STUDIES:
UC San Diego School of Medicine
Youth Physical Activity in Summer: Patterns and Disparities
The UC San Diego study is examining summertime physical activity patterns in diverse, lower-income adolescent populations.
Co-Principal Investigators: James F. Sallis, PhD and Terry Conway, PhD
Georgia Institute of Technology School of City and Regional Planning
Youth Engagement and Action for Health!
The Georgia Tech project assesses how training youth to be advocates for changes in the built environment can foster health and produce positive policy and environmental change.
Co-Principal Investigators: Nisha D. Botchwey, PhD and Anna J. Kim, PhD
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health & Baylor University, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences
Promoting Safe Places to Play: Implementation of Play Streets in Diverse Low-Income Rural Communities
The Johns Hopkins and Baylor study is examining whether culturally relevant Play Streets can be adapted to low-income rural communities to increase physical activity among elementary and middle school-aged children.
Co-Principal Investigators: Keshia Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH and Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES
NC State University College of Natural Resources
Physical Activity and Recreation in Children in Communities of Color – PARC3
The NC State University project studies public park use and physical activity among children in lower-income and racial and ethnic minority communities in Raleigh-Durham and New York City to inform planning decisions about park design.
Co-Principal Investigators: Myron F. Floyd, PhD and J. Aaron Hipp, PhD
COMMISSIONED RESEARCH PROJECTS:
Evaluating the California Distinguished After School Health Program- Supplemental Physical Activity Component
Research Triangle Institute is evaluating the reach and impact on physical activity of California’s Distinguished After School Health (DASH) Award Program in its first two years of implementation.
Principal Investigator: Jean Wiecha, PhD
San Francisco State University
Decision Making toward Successful Physical Activity Practices in Schools
The purpose of this qualitative study, led by researchers at San Francisco State University, is to learn how elementary schools make decisions related to the implementation of physical activity programs and the reasons for those decisions, with a focus on low-resource schools.
Principal Investigator: Emma V Sanchez-Vaznaugh, ScD, MPH
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in Austin
Effective School Investment in Physical Activity: Calibrating Costs and Benefits
Researchers at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin will estimate the per-pupil cost of various evidence-based school physical activity programs.
Principal Investigator: H. Shelton Brown, III, PhD
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Evidence to Inform a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy
Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will evaluate change in transportation modes (bike, car, walk, transit) over time attributable to community-wide investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and programs.
Principal Investigator: Angie Cradock, ScD, MPE
University of Illinois at Chicago
Best Practices in Engaging Public Health in Complete Streets Policy Actions
This project, led by a research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will identify best practices regarding public health involvement in the development, adoption, and implementation/evaluation of Complete Streets policies. (Coming soon)
Principal Investigator: Jamie Chriqui, PhD