In addition to being an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, I am also the graduate program director for the Master of Professional Kinesiology program and the director of the SeniorFit exercise program at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health & Well-Being. My research investigates body image – and in particular positive body image – and physical activity across diverse populations. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, my students and I try to understand factors that can improve positive body image and reduce negative body image, including exercise, yoga, and educational approaches. We have worked with university students, middle-aged and older adults, and those with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. We look at both physiological (e.g., cortisol) and psychological indicators of body image. I am also interested in looking at the exercise environment and how it can be structured to promote adherence and positive psychological outcomes. Over the past year, we have also started investigating the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity and the impact of online fitness programming, especially in older adults and those with chronic disease.
Current research studies in our lab include:
- How physical activity and yoga increase positive body image
- Cortisol responses to body image threats
- Body image in older adults and special populations
- Peer support for physical activity in special populations
- The impact of COVID-19 on physical activity in special populations
A significant part of the research in our work involves the design and implementation of programs in real life settings:
- Development and testing of the BIAS (Body Image Awareness Seminars) at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-being and at Wellspring for the promotion of positive body image in older adults and those with chronic disease]
- Effects of group exercise and online exercise approaches on body image in older adults
- Involved with several sport and exercise psychology organizations including NASPSPA and SCAPPS
- Currently Digest Editor for the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
- Certified fitness, spin, and yoga instructor
Dimas, M., Galway, S., & Gammage, K. L. (2021). Do you see what I see: The influence of self-objectification on appearance anxiety, intrinsic motivation, interoceptive awareness, and physical performance. Body Image, 39 53-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2021.05.010
Olansky, S., Beaudry, K. M., Woods, S., Barbour-Tuck, E., Gammage, K. L., Klentrou, P., & Josse, A. R. (2021). Changes in body composition, energy expenditure, and energy intake during four years of university—A follow-up study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8):3990. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083990
Bailey, K. A., Dagenais, M., & Gammage, K. L. (2021). Is a picture worth a thousand words? Using photo-elicitation to study body image in middle-to-older age women with and without multiple sclerosis. Qualitative Health Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/10497323211014830
Smyth, A., Gammage, K. L., Lamarche, L. & Muir, C. (2020). Examining university men’s psychobiological and behavioral response-recovery profile from a social-evaluative body image threat. American Journal of Men’s Health. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988320910831
Bailey, K. A. & Gammage, K. L. (2020). A mixed methods evaluation of BIAS (Body Image Awareness Seminars): A positive body image program. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 14, 248–267. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689819871814
Donia, S., Allison, D., Gammage, K., & Ditor, D. (2019). The effects of acute aerobic exercise on mood and inflammation in individuals with multiple sclerosis and incomplete spinal cord injury. NeuroRehabilitation, 45, 117-124.
Thomas, A. M., Beaudry, K. M., Gammage, K. L., Klentrou, P., & Josse, A. R. (2019). Physical activity, sport participation and perceived barriers to engagement in first-year Canadian university students. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 16, 437-446. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2018-0198
Bailey, K. A., Gammage, K. L., & van Ingen, C. (2019). The process of co-creating BIAS (Body Image Awareness Seminars): An action research project with members of an exercise facility. Action Research, 17, 146-161. doi: 10.1177/1476750318821169
Cyr, A., Chandler, K., & Gammage, K. L. (2019). Might plight: The social anxiety felt by men in the weight lifting environment. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. March/April, 14-18.
Bailey, K. A., & Gammage, K. L. (2018). From one peer to another: Exploring how to incorporate body image conversations into peer support programs for people with disability. International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation, 16.
Cline, L., Bailey, K. A., & Gammage, K. L. (2018). “I don’t think it matters what age group you are in”: Exploring body image coping strategies in women aged 55+. Women’s Health Bulletin, 5, e61048. doi: 10.5812/whb.61048.
Lamarche, L., Gammage, K. L., & Ozimok, B. (2018). The gym as a culture of body achievement: Exploring negative and positive body image experiences in men. Sage Open. doi: 10.1177/2158244018778103
I currently teach the following courses:
- KINE 3P85: Exercise Psychology
- KINE 4P12: Exercise Programming for Older Adults
- KINE 4P85: Body Image
- AHSC 5P85: Body-Related Concerns Across the Lifespan
- GERO 5P12: Mobility and Physical Activity for Older Adults
I am a certified fitness, spin and yoga instructor, and teach classes at Campus Recreation at the University and at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health & Well-Being.
NSERC Developmental Grant (2020-2022) Psychobiological responses to social-evaluative threats: Applications through body image Principal Applicant ($40,000)
Public Health Agency of Canada, Supporting the Health of Survivors of Family Violence through Community Programs (2019-2021) Exploring the Health Impacts of the Shape Your Life Project on Youth Affected by Family Violence Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: Dr. Cathy van Ingen) ($491,880)
SSHRC Insight Grant (2018-2023) Loving the body you’re in: Positive body image and physical activity across the lifespan Principal Applicant ($192,000)