TU professor seeking study participants to research physical activity, sedentary behavior - The University of Tulsa
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TU professor seeking study participants to research physical activity, sedentary behavior

Photograph of Eric Wickel
Eric Wickel

Professor Eric Wickel, the John C. Oxley Endowed Chair of Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences in The University of Tulsa’s Oxley College of Health & Natural Sciences, is seeking participants for two new studies.

The first project, funded by the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology, studies adults in the Tulsa area to explore how physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep influence their health outcomes. Participants must be between 25 to 55 years old, live in Oklahoma, and have access to internet service and a smartphone. Wickel is joined by Professors John Hale and Brett McKinney from TU’s Tandy School of Computer Science in this research.

The second project, funded by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust of Oklahoma, examines how self-report tools and wearable devices characterize daily physical behavior. Specifically, Wickel examines the ability of thigh-worn devices to identify unique sedentary and stationary behaviors. Participants must be at least 18 years old, reside in Oklahoma, and have accessible internet service and an email address.

“Self-report tools can provide contextual information about daily activity but may be limited by an individual’s accuracy to recall time spent in prior behaviors,” Wickel explained. “Issues exist with devices worn on the wrist and hip to capture activity and sedentary time.”

Currently, there is little research done on thigh-worn devices. Wickel’s research, alongside the data collected in the joint research with Hale and McKinney, will “contribute to a body of knowledge regarding device-based estimates of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep … including their acceptability and association with important health outcomes.”

Wickel’s projects unite an understanding of health and an exploration of technology.

Both projects are currently active and continue to collect data. The TSET project will continue to recruit participants into 2025. The OCAST project is a three-year study that will require participants to provide baseline data in year one and follow-up data in year three, while participants in year two will provide baseline data. Both studies are remote projects allowing participants to receive study material directly to their physical address.

For more information, visit https://sites.utulsa.edu/behaviorhub/.