Research Projects

 

 

Prof. dr. Greet Cardon
Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon has a master degree in Physical Education and in Physical Therapy, and a PhD in Movement Sciences. She is full professor and supervises the research group. Her research focuses on understanding the determinants of physical activity, as well as identifying the most effective ways to promote physical activity in different age groups, with a main focus on children and adolescents.. She is and has been involved in several European projects (e.g. Toybox, DEDIPAC, Feel4Diabetes, Smartlife).
Research interests:
physical activity, sedentary behavior, children, youth, prevention

 

 

 

 

Prof. dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij
Prof. Dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij is a clinical psychologist and obtained a PhD in Health Psychology. She is full professor and co-supervises the research group. Her research topics are the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity, including research on determinants and on developing and evaluating interventions to promote healthy behaviors in all ages. She is and has been involved as partner and/or work package leader in various European Commission funded projects including Pro Children, HOPE, ALPHA, TEENAGE, HELENA, IDEFICS, ENERGY, TOY BOX, SPOTLIGHT and DEDIPAC.
Research interests:
eHealth, built environment, health promotion, interventions, tailoring

 

 

 



 

Prof. dr. Sebastien Chastin
Prof. Dr. Sebastien Chastin has a BSc in metrology, a Master in Rehabilitation Sciences and a PhD in Non-linear physics. He is a Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University. His research focuses on human movement behaviour. Understanding why, when and how people decide to move or not, is crucial to promoting healthy movement behaviour. At the moment, he is guest professor in the research group, with a specific focus on research.
Research interests:
24 hour movement behavior across the life span;  cocreation of physical activity intervention


 

 

 

Prof. dr. Marieke De Craemer
Prof. Dr. Marieke De Craemer has a master degree and PhD in Physical Education. Her research focuses on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle in early childhood (e.g. ToyBox study) and she was part of the European Knowledge hub on Determinants of Diet and Physical activity (DEDIPAC). At the moment, she is guest professor in the research group, with a specific focus on teaching.
Research interests:
physical activity, sedentary behaviour, preschoolers, interventions

 

 

 

Dr. Ruben Brondeel
Education: PhD in Epidemiology – University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon
Research project(s): Urban interventions in the physical environment (e.g. improved sidewalks) to promote active transport are powerful tools to increase physical activity levels. However, urban interventions are not under the control of the evaluating researchers, making the evaluations very challenging to design. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of simulated urban interventions on transport-related physical activity with agent-based simulation models. Complementary to evaluations of urban interventions, simulations of such interventions can provide crucial information for transport planning and public health. The simulation models will be based on data collected in Ghent, Belgium.
Research interests: Active transport, simulation models, machine learning, GPS and accelerometer data

 

 

 

dr. Sofie Compernolle
Education: Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences – Phd in Health Sciences  
Supervisors: Promotor: Prof. dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij / Co-promotor: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon
Research project(s): The title of her PhD was ‘Exploring sedentary behavior in adults: a socio-ecological perspective’. She studied intrapersonal and environmental correlates of adults’ sedentary behavior, examined the interplay between intrapersonal and environmental level correlates, and  investigated the role of sedentary behavior in the association with BMI. During her PhD, Sofie was involved in the cross-European SPOTLIGHT project (www.spotlightproject.eu). SPOTLIGHT stands for the Sustainable Prevention of Obesity Through integrated strategies, and was funded by the European Commission through its 7th Framework Programme.
Research interests: Sedentary behavior, determinants, physical environment, adults



 

dr. Ann DeSmet
Education: MSc in Psychology, MSc in Marketing Analysis and Planning, PhD in Health Sciences
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon
Research project(s): She acquired her PhD within the Friendly ATTAC project that developed a serious game against adolescent cyberbullying. Since then, she obtained an EU grant for the SmartLife project that develops an exergame tailored by the biofeedback from a smart T-shirt; and a fellowship from the Research Foundation Flanders (Healthy Worker study), in which combined patterns of sleep, physical activity and sedentary behavior are studied. These behaviors will be addressed in a mobile just-in-time adaptive intervention. She also supervises several projects in e-&mHealth.
Research interests: e-&mHealth; media psychology; serious games; wearables; mental health promotion via an active lifestyle; micro-randomized trials; Just-in-Time adaptive interventions (JITAI); Ecological Momentary Assessment  (EMA) 

 

 

 

dr. Lieze Mertens
Education: MSc in Physical Education and Movement Sciences, MSc in Health Education and Health Promotion in 2012, PhD in Health Sciences
Supervisors: Prof. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Prof. Benedicte Deforche
Research project(s): Lieze Mertens has expertise in the association between the physical environment and active transportation. Her PhD project used manipulated photographs to study those relationships. Currently, she is working on a project aimed to identify critical environmental street characteristics influencing the safety and appeal for active transport by manipulations of virtual reality 3D walk/cycle through environments.
Research interests: Active transport; Physical environment; Cycling; Micro-environment


 

dr. Jeroen Stragier
Education: Master in Communication Sciences, Master of Marketing analysis,  PhD in communication sciences
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon
Research project(s): In his dissertation, he investigated the motivational affordances of Online Fitness Community features (Self-regulation, social interaction and gamification) and their potential to create engaging behavior change platforms.  Currently, he further explores his PhD findings in research projects concerning physical activity and exercising and the use of technology as support system (wearables, mobile apps, exergames,…). His research is focused on the potential of new media and persuasive technologies to induce behavioral change towards healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.

 

 

 


 

dr. Delfien Van Dyck
Education: Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences, PhD in Physical Education
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon
Research project(s): Delfien Van Dyck’s area of expertise is on the associations of the built environment with physical activity and sedentary behaviors in different age groups (adolescents, adults, older adults). Her PhD was entitled ‘The built environment and its association with physical activity and sedentary behaviors in adults and adolescents’. She is part of the Belgian team for the IPEN adult and IPEN adolescent studies, two NIH-funded studies that examine the relation between the built environment and health in 12 countries worldwide. From 2012 until 2016, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher and examined the determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in (recently) retired adults. During that project, she conducted an EHealth intervention in this target group, aiming to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary time. Her current research focuses on optimizing built environments for physical activity across the lifespan and on how to translate research findings into policy recommendations.
Research interests: physical environment – (older) adults – socio-ecological determinants of health behaviors – mediators and moderators

 

dr. Maïté Verloigne
Education: Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences, Phd in Physical Education
Supervisors:
Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon
Research project(s):
Her PhD was framed within the European ENERGY-project and focused on physical activity and sedentary behaviour (prevalence, determinants and intervention) in 10- to 12-year-old children. As a postdoctoral researcher, her first project was to develop and evaluate an intervention to promote physical activity in adolescent girls, using a participatory approach. Her second and current research project focuses on the implementation of standing desks in the classroom (primary and secondary schools).
Research interests:
Interventions – Sedentary behaviour – Physical activity – Participatory research – Co-creation – School – Youth

 

 

Laurent Degroote
Education: Master of Science in Physical Education and Movement Sciences
Supervisors: Prof. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij and Prof. Geert Crombez
Research project(s): His research focuses on the use of an e- and mHealth intervention to promote physical activity in the general adult population. More specifically, he is working on the development and the testing of an app that uses self-regulation techniques, such as action planning, coping planning and self-monitoring. This app guides people during the process towards a physically active lifestyle. The context in which people show physical (in)active behaviour plays an important role. Therefore, this is also investigated and taken into account in this project.
Research interests: E- and mHealth, interventions, wearables, self-regulation

 

 


Nele Huys

Education: Master of Science in health education and promotion at Ghent University
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon; Prof. Dr. Benedicte Deforche; Prof. Dr. Marieke De Craemer
Research project(s): Nele is currently working on the Horizon 2020 funded European Feel4Diabetes-project. The Feel4Diabetes-project aims to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention program to prevent type 2 diabetes across Europe, primarily focusing on families (primary schoolchildren and their parents) from vulnerable groups. The intervention integrates three components (community, school and family) in a two-year intervention period (2016-2018), focusing on promoting a healthy lifestyle (i.e. sufficient physical activity, healthy diet, reduction in sedentary behaviour) and tackling obesity-related metabolic risk factors in the families.
Research interests: Prevention of Type 2 diabetes / Physical Activity / Families / Socio-economic Differences

 

 

 

Julie Latomme
Education: Master of Science in Experimental and Theoretical Psychology at Ghent University
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon, Prof. Dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij and Prof. Dr. Marieke De Craemer
Research project(s): Currently, Julie is working on her FWO-funded research project (“Run Daddy Run”) aiming to develop and implement a multicomponent eHealth lifestyle intervention for fathers and their children, in order to prevent overweight and obesity in the family. More specifically, the intervention aims to increase co-physical activity (i.e. father and child engaging together in physical activity) and limit the time fathers and children spend together on watching TV through (inter-)active father-child sessions and an online (website) component.
Research interests: overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes, prevention, intervention, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, men, fathers, children.

 

 

 

Laura Maenhout
Education: Master of Educational Sciences, Main Subject Special Education, Disability Studies and Behavioral Disorders
Supervisors: Promotor: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon / Co-promotor: Prof. dr. Geert Crombez & dr. Ann DeSmet
Research project(s): Laura is involved in the MOV-E-STAR project. This is a project aimed at promoting mental health of youngsters (12-15 years) via healthy lifestyles (more exercise, less sitting, daily breakfast intake and sufficient sleep). By focusing on healthy lifestyles that they can tackle in their daily lives, this project supports the empowerment and social inclusion of youth, without barriers to professional care, and with great social health benefits as a result. The intervention will consist of three integrated components: a storyline or 'health narrative' (Youtube videos), a chatbot and a mobile app that supports self-regulation. Her PhD will focus on special target groups (youngsters from lower SES families) and via the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) she will study central and peripheral routes to behavioral change.
Research interests: Mental health, adolescents, vulnerable target groups, healthy lifestyles, e- and mHealth, elaboration likelihood model (ELM)

 

 

Iris Maes
Education: Master of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences – Main Subject Audiology
Master of Health Education and Health Promotion
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon and dr. Delfien Van Dyck (promotoren)
Research project(s): During the first phase of her research project, Iris will concentrate on the identification of dynamic determinants of physical activity and sedentary behavior. This will be carried out by using Ecological Momentary Assessment. The target group of this project will be older adults (65+) and particular attention will be given to the environment and the interaction with the environment. Small experiments will be conducted in a next phase.
Research interests: Health Promotion, Prevention, Interventions, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior





 


Carmen Peuters
Education: Master in Clinical and Health Psychology, specialization: Children and Adolescents (KU Leuven)
Master in Research in Psychology Applied to Health Sciences, specialization: Sports and Health Psychology (UAB, Spain)
Supervisors: Promotor: Prof. dr. Geert Crombez / Co-promotors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon and dr. Ann DeSmet
Research project(s): Carmen is working on the MOV-E-STAR project, a two-year research project funded by the Flemish Government. The aim of the project is to promote mental health by encouraging youth (12 – 15 years) to adopt healthy lifestyles. Specifically, the project will focus on improving physical activity, daily breakfast intake and sufficient sleep, and reducing sedentary behaviour. By means of participatory development with adolescents and stakeholders, an intervention is being created including a mobile app, a chatbot, and a narrative in the form of short video clips. The intervention will be evaluated in a group-RCT and user feedback will be used to optimize the programme for future implementation.
Research interests: Mental health promotion, preventive healthcare, positive psychology, healthy lifestyles, self-regulation, mhealth, stress- and emotion regulation

 

 

Louise Poppe
Education: Master's degree in Experimental and Theoretical Psychology at Ghent University
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Prof. Dr. Geert Crombez, Dr. Maïté Verloigne
Research project(s): The goal of her PhD is to develop and test a website and mobile application ('MyPlan 2.0') to support people with type 2 diabetes to increase their physical activity and to decrease their sedentary behaviour. MyPlan 2.0 is based on self-regulation principles and helps users to translate their intentions to specific plans for action.
Research interests: e- and mHealth; Diabetes type 2; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Self Regulation Theory

 

 

 


 

 

Helene Schroé
Education: Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences
Supervisors: Promotor: Prof. Dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij; Co-promotor: Prof. Dr. Geert Crombez
Research project(s): The aim of Helene’s PhD project is to evaluate an e- and m-health intervention ‘MyPlan 2.0’ (website and app) to promote physical activity and to reduce sedentary behaviour in adults. She uses self-regulation theory to guide people in their behaviour change process. More specifically, Helene aims to investigate which self-regulation techniques determine the effectiveness of the e- and m-health intervention. Furthermore, she will evaluate the effect of the e- and m-health intervention on behaviour change in an ecologically valid setting.
Research interests: Health promotion; E- and m-Health; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Self-regulation theory

 

 

 

Ayla Schwarz
Education: Master of Science in Applied Communication Sciences – Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Greet Cardon; Dr. Ann DeSmet
Research project(s): During her PhD, Ayla is involved in a H2020 EU project SmartLife (‘Smart Clothing Gamification to promote Energy-related Behaviours among Adolescents’). It is the project’s aim to develop and test a mobile exergame to promote more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour among adolescents. The game is paired with a smart shirt for behavioural monitoring and tailoring in-game activities. Thereby, it is expected to reach a more intense physical activity and effectiveness of the game. Ayla investigates different mechanism of engagement in games and explores how engagement in serious games can be increased among adolescents.
Research interests: Health promotion; Serious games; Engagement; Physical activity; Adolescents

 

 

Vicky Van Stappen
Education: Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences – Physical Activity, Fitness and Health
Supervisors: promotor: Greet Cardon; Co-promotor: Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij
Research project(s): Vicky’s main research interest  is the prevention of overweight and obesity in young children and their parents by improving the energy-balanced related behaviors (i.e. physical activity, sitting time and nutrition). She is currently involved in the European Feel4Diabetes-project (2014-2019) aiming to prevent overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes in young vulnerable families (families living in low socio-economic areas). The Feel4Diabetes-intervention focused on three components (i.e. the school, community and family component) to improve the energy-balanced related behaviors in these vulnerable families.  
Research interests: Prevention of overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes, children, parents, families, interventions, physical activity, sedentary behavior, healthy nutrition