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 as work package leader in several European projects (e.g. Toybox, DEDIPAC, Feel4Diabetes, Smartlife) and leads the Interdisciplinary consortium "Ghent University Research on Aging Young (GRAY)"
Research interests: physical activity, sedentary behavior, children, youth, prevention, aging 

Prof. dr. Delfien Van Dyck

Delfien Van Dyck obtained a Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences and a PhD in Physical Education and co-supervises the research group. Her research focuses on the determinants of physical activity and sedentary behavior in (older) adults, with specific attention to the importance of ‘walkable’ environments (parks, neighborhoods and the use of Virtual Reality in this research domain). Furthermore, she supervises the PhD research regarding theory-based interventions through eHealth and mHealth to promote an active lifestyle in adults and a PhD study regarding the use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to identify the dynamic determinants of physical activity and sedentary behavior in older adults. She is or has been involved in two NIH projects: the IPEN Adult and IPEN Adolescent studies.

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

 

Dr. Melanie Beeckman

Education: Master in Clinical Psychology;  PhD in Psychology – Ghent University
Supervisor: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon


Research Project(s): Melanie is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher on an FWO-funded research project with the central objective to develop a cognitively enriched walking program for older adults to prevent cognitive decline, a collaboration between Ghent University and KU Leuven. This walking program will enable older adults to train their brain while walking, which is expected to boost neuroplasticity. The project specifically examines the feasibility of the cognitively walking intervention by matching it as much as possible with the needs and preferences of older adults with the help of co-creation methods such as focus groups. Before this, Melanie used to work at the Ghent Health Psychology Lab where she obtained her doctoral degree in psychology on a research project on the role of psychological risk and resilience factors in adolescents with chronic pain. Beside her work as a researcher, she currently also works as a part-time psychologist in a community health center and a general practice in Ghent.
Research Interest: Active Ageing, Cognitive Function, Chronic Diseases (e.g., chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases), Health Psychology, Resilience, Prevention, Primary Health Care

Dr. Ruben Brondeel

Education: PhD in Epidemiology – University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon, Prof. dr. Frank Witlox


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: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon and Prof. dr. Delfien Van Dyck


Research project(s): The research of Sofie focuses on sedentary behavior in adults and older adults. During her PhD, Sofie examined the socio-ecological determinants of sedentary behavior in adults. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher on the Stand Up, Stay Top project. The aim of this project is to develop and evaluate an eHealth intervention aimed at the reduction of sedentary behaviour in older adults.  During this project, the realist methodology will be used.
Research interests: Sedentary behaviour, older adults, e- & mHealth interventions, self-monitoring, user engagement, realist methodology


dr. Ann DeSmet

Education: MSc in Psychology, MSc in Marketing Analysis and Planning, PhD in Health Sciences
Ann DeSmet is currently working as an assistant professor at the University of Antwerp and at the 'Université Libre de Bruxelles'. She is supporting the research group as a voluntary postdoctoral researcher. 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. 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. dr. Delfien Van Dyck, Prof. dr. Benedicte Deforche


Research project(s): Lieze 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 

Marga Decraene

Education: Master of Science in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences – Main Subject Audiology & Master of Science in Health Education and Health Promotion
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon and Prof. dr. Marieke De Craemer


Research project(s): Marga studies 24-hour movement behaviors (physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep) in preschoolers with overweight. The aim of her project is two-fold. First, Marga will co-create an intervention targeting parenting practices with parents of preschoolers with overweight. The aim of the intervention is to increase preschoolers with overweights´ compliance with the new WHO 24-hour movement behavior guidelines. Second, Marga will evaluate the different intervention components using a Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST). In the first phase, Marga will look at which components have the largest effect. In the second phase Marga will study which implementation duration is most optimal. After this project, Marga aims to test the intervention using an RCT (phase 3 of MOST).
Research interests: Health promotion, Prevention, Intervention strategies and mechanism, Physical activity, Sedentary behavior, Sleep, Overweight, Preschoolers, 24-hour movement behavior, co-creation

Julie Delobelle

Education: Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences – major Neurosciences, Master of Science in Health Promotion
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Delfien Van Dyck, Prof. dr. Geert Crombez and dr. Femke De Backere


Research project(s): Julie’s PhD will focus on the dynamic nature of individual and environmental determinants of physical activity in older adults using e- and mHealth. During the first phase of the project, the underlying dynamic mechanisms (i.e. time and context dependency) for the determinants for physical activity in older adults will be investigated, taking into account the individual and environmental factors. This will be executed using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in an observational study involving repeated sampling of behavior in a natural setting. In the second phase, this information will be used to examine how behavioral changes can be initiated, while considering the interaction with the environment. To do so, micro-randomized trials will be carried out. The ultimate goal of these micro-randomized trials is to find out which intervention is most effective for whom under which circumstances.
Research interests: Health Promotion, Physical activity, Prevention, e- and mHealth, Just-inTime adaptive interventions


Julie Latomme

Education: Master of Science in Experimental and Theoretical Psychology at Ghent University
Supervisors: Prof. Greet Cardon


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.

 

Elien Lebuf

Education: Master in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Graduation Option: Musculoskeletal Therapies - Sports Physiotherapy
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Delfien Van Dyck, Dr. Jelle Van Cauwenberg and Dr. Femke De Backere
Research project(s): During her PhD, Elien will focus on the development of individualised interventions to reduce sedentary behavior in older adults, using e- and mHealth. During the first phase of Elien’s research, the underlying dynamic mechanisms (i.e. time and context dependency) of individual and environmental determinants of sedentary behavior in older adults will be investigated. In the second phase, this information will be used to examine how behavioral changes can be initiated by means of an e-  and mHealth approach, where the interaction between the individual and his/her dynamic environment will be an essential aspect.
Research interests: Health Promotion, Sedentary Behavior, Prevention, Chronic Conditions

Laura Maenhout

Education: Master of Educational Sciences, Main Subject Special Education, Disability Studies and Behavioral Disorders (Ghent University)
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon, 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 adolescents (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,
  • a mobile app that supports self-regulation.
    Her PhD will focus on special target groups (adolescents from lower SES families).

Research interests: Mental health, adolescents, vulnerable target groups, healthy lifestyles, e- & mHealth, elaboration likelihood model (ELM)

Iris MaesIris Maes

Education: Master of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences – Main Subject Audiology, Master of Health Education and Health Promotion
Supervisors: Prof. Greet Cardon and Prof. Delfien Van Dyck
Research project(s): The research project of Iris focuses on the determinants of physical activity in older adults (65+). In the first phase of her PhD, Iris will concentrate on capturing the dynamic nature of the psychosocial determinants of physical activity in older adults. This will be carried out by using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). EMA is a relatively novel monitoring strategy to assess behaviour and its determinants at the moment they occur in a natural setting. In a later phase, small experiments will be conducted, to examine for example the experiences of older adults with receiving notifications to encourage them to be physically active, delivered through a smartphone application.
Research interests: Health Promotion, Prevention, Interventions, Physical Activity, EMA

Pieter-Jan Marent

Education: Master of Science in Physical Education and Movement Sciences – Research in Biomedical Kinesiology
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon and Prof. dr. Jannique van Uffelen
Research project(s): Pieter-Jan’s research aims to prevent cognitive decline in older adults. Therefore, his project focuses on the development and effectiveness of a cognitively enriched walking program. For the intervention development, he uses co-creation methods in order to optimally match the program with the needs and preferences of the end users. Afterwards, he will investigate the effects of the newly developed intervention on cognitive and physical functioning. For this project, he collaborates with Arwen Vangilbergen and dr. Melanie Beeckman.
Research interests: physical activity, sedentary behavior, promotion of physical activity, older adults, active ageing

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: Prof. dr. Geert Crombez, 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, 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 

Helen Schroé

Education: Master in Physical Education and Movement Sciences
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij and 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- & m-Health intervention on behaviour change in an ecologically valid setting.
Research interests: Health promotion; E- & mHealth; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Self-regulation theory

Arwen Vangilbergen

Education: Master of Health education and Health promotion
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Greet Cardon and Prof. dr. Jannique van Uffelen
Research project(s): Arwen 's project focuses on the prevention of cognitive decline in the older adult population by boosting neuroplasticity. She does this by developing a cognitively enriched walking intervention which enables older adults to train their brain while walking. For the development of the intervention, Arwen uses co-creation to make sure that the intervention optimally matches the wishes and needs of older adults. Afterwards she will investigate the effects of the newly developed intervention on cognitive and physical functioning. For this project, she works together withe her colleagues from the KU Leuven.
Research interests: health promotion, prevention, physical activity, self determination, older adults and dementia