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Department of Kinesiology

Digital Physical Activity Laboratory (DPAL)

Dr. Brandon Irwin

Lab Mission:

The Digital Physical Activity Laboratory at Kansas State University aims to address problems of physical inactivity by understanding motivational processes related to physical activity and identifying best practices for intervening on such processes. A central theme in this research is the application of digital technology in the understanding and exploitation of interpersonal influences in physical activity.

Research questions:

1.  Through what motivational processes do other people influence physical activity behavior?

2.  What are the best practices for intervening on interpersonal motivational processes in the promotion of physical activity?

Ongoing projects:

Social media and physical activityIn collaboration with the Physical Activity Intervention Laboratory at K-State, we are conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing scientific literature identifying and evaluating the use and effectiveness of social media in physical activity, diet, and weight-loss interventions.

Group diversity and motivation for physical activityWe are studying the impact of a virtual exercise partner from a different social category (e.g., a rival school) on motivation for physical activity.

Cohesion in virtual groups- An investigation of the efficacy of a web-based team-building module to increase cohesion and physical activity in a virtual physical activity group.

Lab DirectorBrandon C. Irwin, PhD

Dr. Brandon Irwin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Kansas State University. His primary research interest is group dynamics in physical activity. His work has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, featured in high-impact scholarly journals and media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review , and has earned several research awards including the National Graduate Scholar Award (American Kinesiology Association) and the Sport and Exercise Psychology Dissertation Award (National Association for Sport and Physical Education).

Graduate and undergraduate student opportunities:

Dr. Brandon Irwin mentors graduate (MS Kinesiology, MPH, PhD Kinesiology) and undergraduate students interested in a social and behavioral science approach to the study of motivational processes in public health physical activity. I accept students who are interested in careers in public health physical activity research or practice. I routinely in volve undergraduate students in the research being conducted in the DPAL. Qualified students are typically those with a strong GPA, good interpersonal skills, and who are voraciously curious. If you are an undergraduate student who is interested in gaining research experience in the DPAL, please fill out  this questionnaire  and you will contact you shortly thereafter.

Lab Contact Information:

Director: Brandon C. Irwin, PhD

Room 213 Natatorium

Kansas State University

(785) 532 – 0660

bcirwin@k-state.edu

Selected publications:

Irwin, B.C., Feltz, D.L., & Kerr, N.L (2013). Silence is golden: Effect of encouragement in motivating the weak link in an online exercise video game. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(6): e104. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2551

Irwin, B. C., Scorniaenchi, J., Kerr, N. L., Eisenmann, J. C., & Feltz, D. L. (2012). Aerobic exercise is promoted when individual performance affects the group: A test of the Kohler motivation gain effect. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 44, 151-159. doi:10.1007/s12160-012-9367-4

Feltz, D.L., Irwin, B.C., & Kerr, N.K. (2012). Two player partnered exergame for obesity prevention: Using discrepancy in players’ abilities as a strategy to motivate physical activity. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 6(4), 820-827.