Eli Puterman

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Health Psychology
Stress physiology
Acute exercise
Exercise interventions
Physical Activity
Physical literacy
cellular aging
telomeres
chronic stress

Relevant Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters

 
 

Research Methodology

Laboratory stress induction
Treadmill exercise sessions
wet lab
blood draws
randomized behavioural trials

Recruitment

Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

Our Fitness, Aging and Stress Lab at UBC is currently actively engaged in several different laboratory and community studies. In the laboratory, we are examining the impact of different lengths and intensities of exercise on biological and psychological responses to acute stressors. We are also examining the flip side of this - how chronic and acute stress impact biological and psychological responses to acute bouts of exercise.
In our lab, we are also recruiting 10 year old children to study the associations between physical literacy and activity with social and emotional development, and biological 'omic' profiles, including metabolomic, proteomic, and microbiomic profiles.
Finally, our lab is also analyzing data from large nationally representative studies, such as Health and Retirement Study and the Midlife in The United States Study, examining longterm impacts of socioeconomic disadvantage and chronic stressors on physical activity engagement and disease.

I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

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Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2019)
Assessment and training of physical literacy in early childhood educators (2019)

Educators working in early childhood education and care receive little to no training in physical activity or physical literacy. However, they are expected to adhere to government standards for physical activity and skill development during the childcare day. This dissertation sought to determine what characterizes a successful intervention aiming to train educators in physical activity and/or physical literacy, what barriers and facilitators educators identify in meeting daily activity standards, what the physical literacy of educators is, and if educator physical literacy is associated with their behaviours and intentions to provide physical activity or physical literacy activities regularly. A systematic review was undertaken to parse apart the distinct characteristics of effective training interventions in physical activity or physical literacy. Training programs that provided ongoing support, relied on a theoretical framework, and objectively measured study fidelity were more successful. Educators were interviewed (n=24) to assess facilitators and barriers they face when implementing policy mandated activity standards. Results demonstrated that the personal values of educators facilitated adherence, and if physical space was poor, or resources were low, adherence was inhibited. Finally, a cross-sectional study measured the physical literacy of educators (n=94), and utilized regression analysis to determine relationships between measured physical literacy and self-reported behaviours and intentions to provide physical activity and/or physical literacy opportunities daily. Physical activity behaviour and understanding were high, but the remaining components of physical literacy were moderate. A relationship was found between educator self-reported intentions and behaviours for providing physical activity opportunities and the physical literacy component of understanding, but no relationship was found for the other components of physical literacy. The results of these three studies demonstrate that educators are trainable in physical activity and physical literacy, but high-quality training programs that provide continued support and/or training for educators are needed. Training programs may not need to focus on the personal physical literacy of educators. Mandating training for educators to provide quality physical literacy opportunities to children should be a high public health priority.

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
To what extent are movement behaviours associated with emotional well-being in grades four and five children? Results from the Optimizing Movement in Children Study (2018)

The potential mechanisms driving the optimal, healthy physical and psychological development of children have been studied extensively (Janssen et al., 2010; Milteer, Ginsburg, & Mulligan, 2012; Parfitt & Eston, 2005). Specific movement behaviours, including physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep have been studied independently to examine their influence on health outcomes. Emotional well-being, which encompasses a variety of psychological concepts including optimism, general self-concept, satisfaction with life, and sadness, is considered an important element in the healthy development of children (Guerra & Bradshaw, 2008). This study examined the extent to which four objectively-measured movement behaviours – light physical activity (LPA), moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sedentary time, and sleep – are associated with emotional well-being in a sample of grades four and five children (N = 21). This study had three objectives: 1) to examine independent associations between the four separate movement behaviours and emotional well-being, 2) to examine the relationship between one movement behaviour and emotional well-being relative to time spent in other movement behaviours using compositional analysis, and 3) to examine whether time spent in sedentary screen activities versus non-screen sedentary activities moderated the relationship between objectively-measured sedentary time and emotional well-being. For objective 1, among the independent Spearman correlations, only MVPA was significantly and positively correlated with emotional well-being (ρ = 0.77, p
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Publications

 
 

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