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John Sirard

Assistant Professor

Accurate and precise tools and data processing techniques for assessing physical activity and sedentary behaviors are critical in order to identify strong predictors of behavior, dose-response relationships, and to accurately assess the effects of behavioral interventions. This need is especially urgent for younger children who lack the cognitive ability to accurately recall the duration and intensity of their physical activity and the pattern of their sedentary behaviors.

Current research focuses on calibrating accelerometers in free-play settings across the pediatric age range, testing consumer activity tracking devices, and identifying peer influences on adolescent physical activity, screen time, and dietary behaviors.

The Physical Activity and Health Lab uses a variety of research-grade accelerometers and pedometers; consumer activity tracking devices; portable indirect calorimetry system for measuring energy expenditure, and a direct observation system using coded videos of unscripted behaviors.

Learn more at: Physical Activity and Health Lab

Academic Background:

  • B.S., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1991
  • M.S., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1997
  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2003
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine
Sirard JR, Melanson EL, Li L, Freedson PS. Field evaluation of the Computer Science and Applications, Inc. physical activity monitor. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 32(3):695-700, 2000. PMID: 10731015
Sirard JR, Pate RR. Physical activity assessment in children and youth. Sports Med. 31(6): 439-54, 2001. PMID: 11394563
Sirard JR, Trost SG, Pfeiffer KA, Dowda M, Pate RR. Calibration and evaluation of an objective measure of physical activity in preschool children. J Phys Act Health. 2(3): 345-57, 2005.
Sirard JR, Slater ME. Compliance with wearing physical activity accelerometers. J Phys Act Health. 6(Suppl 1):S148-S155, 2009. PMID: 19998861
Sirard JR, Laska MN, Patnode CD, Farbakhsh K, Lytle LA. Adolescent physical activity and screen time: associations with the physical home environment. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 2010, PMID: 21078167 PMC2996341
Sirard JR, Bruening M, Wall M, Kim S, Eisenberg M, Neumark-Sztainer. Physical Activity and Screen Time in Adolescents and Their Friends. Am J Prev Med. 44(1), 48-56, 2013. PMID: 23253649
Sirard JR, Hannan P, Larson N, Graham DJ, Neumark-Sztainer D. Evaluation of 2 self-report measures of physical activity with accelerometry in young adults. J Phys Act Health. 10(1), 85-96, 2013.
Sirard JR, MacDonald K, Mustain P, Hogan W, Helm A. School choice policy change and active commuting to elementary school. Am J Health Promo. Published online 8/2014.
Contact Info

Department of Kinesiology
159D Totman Building
Eastman Lane
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-7898