Katie (Becofsky) Potter

University of Massachusetts Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Katie Becofsky
Assistant Professor
3 Totman Building


BA, SUNY New Paltz; MS, UNC Greensboro; PhD, University of South Carolina; Postdoctoral fellowship, The Miriam Hospital/Brown Medical School

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Physical activity behavior change; physical activity interventions 

Research Description: 

Since many people do not like to exercise or find it difficult to fit into their busy lives, my research involves promoting activities that people enjoy or deeply value and that get them moving as a ‘side-effect’. I am also very interested in the mental, social, and physical health benefits of the human-animal bond, and a focus of my lab is developing and testing dog-facilitated physical activity interventions.

Key Publications: 

Potter, K., Marcotte, R.T., Petrucci Jr., G.J., Rajala, C., Linder, D.E., & Balzer, L.B. (In press). Examining the contribution of dog walking to total daily physical activity among dogs and their owners. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour.

Potter, K., Masteller, B., & Balzer, L.B. (2021). Examining obedience training as a physical activity intervention for dog owners: Findings from the Stealth Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) pilot study.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(3). doi: 10.3390/ijerph18030902

Potter, K., Teng, J., Masteller, B., aRajala, C., & Balzer, L.B. (2019). Examining how dog ‘acquisition’ affects physical activity and psychosocial well-being: Findings from the BuddyStudy pilot trial. Animals, 9(9). doi: 10.3390/ani9090666. PubMed PMID: 31500292.

Potter, K. & Sartore-Baldwin, M. (2019). Dogs as support and motivation for physical activity. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 18(7):275-280. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000611. PubMed PMID: 31283629.

Potter K, Saddiki H, Balzer L.B. (2019). Dog walking mediates the relationship between dog ownership and neighborhood social interaction. Innovation in Aging, S1(3):S201.