Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH, has conducted extensive research into physical activity and sedentary time, with a central focus on older adults and people with chronic conditions, who often face substantial barriers to engaging in physical activity. Dr. Rosenberg has a particular interest in helping to build an evidence base for the health effects of sedentary time, given that the vast majority of people’s waking hours are spent sitting, yet we are only starting to understand how this impacts health.
Dr. Rosenberg’s current studies include:
Dr. Rosenberg has also helped develop and test self-reported measures of sedentary behavior, recognizing that a key step in better understanding these behaviors is having valid self-reported tools available. Dr. Rosenberg helped to validate the widely used Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire, which is a self-reported measure of sedentary time (see below to learn more).
As part of her epidemiologic research, Dr. Rosenberg has interests in investigating ways the built environment — such as parks, open space, and sidewalks — encourage better health, particularly as we age. Further, she is interested in the ways social determinants of health in early life, including the neighborhood environment, impact cognitive and physical aging and is exploring this in the ACT cohort.
In her intervention research, Dr. Rosenberg is also interested in ways to remotely deliver interventions for promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary time. She helped to conduct a micro-randomized trial of a physical activity intervention after bariatric surgery that used mobile tools and text messages. She currently collaborates on the testing and piloting of a mobile health application for mindfulness and acceptance to support healthy eating and physical activity.
Dr. Rosenberg served on a subcommittee of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition to inform the development of the Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report on older adults in 2022. She is also past co-chair of the Physical Activity Special Interest Group at the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Additionally, she is an associate professor in the Health Systems Science Department of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, affiliate associate professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health, and a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
The following tools are available for free download and use.
Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire: This is a self-reported measure of sedentary time, taking into account sedentary behaviors on weekdays and weekends. It has been used widely in research studies across the globe to describe sedentary behavior and track changes in sedentary time.
Walking Route Audit Tool for Seniors (WRATS): WRATS is an audit tool for identifying the best walking routes for older adults. The tool includes 59 items relating to functionality, safety, aesthetics, and destinations, among other domains. Most domains are measured using a 3-point scale. The tool can be used by the general public as well as by researchers.
Physical activity, sedentary behavior, nutrition, lifestyle interventions, technology applications, built environment
Changes to health behaviors, including sedentary behavior, physical activity, and nutrition; role of built environment; promotion of physical function and mobility; fall prevention; cognitive function; Alzheimer's disease prevention
Obesity prevention and control, physical activity and nutrition promotion, role of sedentary behaviors, role of built environment, acceptance and mindfulness interventions for weight management, mobile health interventions
Prevention of further disease, declines in function, and disability; self-management; fall prevention
Health behavior change, fall prevention, Alzheimer’s disease prevention
Mobile health interventions for weight, physical activity, diet, and sedentary time; accelerometers (e.g., Fitbit, ActiGraph, activPAL) for measurement and intervention
Hyde ET, Tuz-Zahra F, Moore CC, Natarajan L, Nguyen S, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Walker RL, Rosenberg DE, Bellettiere J. Agreement of step-based metrics from ActiGraph and activPAL accelerometers worn concurrently among older adults. J Meas Phys Behav. 2022 Dec;5(4):242-251. doi: 10.1123/jmpb.2022-0001. Epub 2022 Oct 11. PubMed
Wu Y, Rosenberg DE, Greenwood-Hickman MA, McCurry SM, Proust-Lima C, Nelson JC, Crane PK, LaCroix AZ, Larson EB, Shaw PA. Analysis of the 24-h activity cycle: An illustration examining the association with cognitive function in the Adult Changes in Thought study. Front Psychol. 2023 Mar 27;14:1083344. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1083344. eCollection 2023. PubMed
Kim B, Barrington WE, Dobra A, Rosenberg D, Hurvitz P, Belza B. Mediating role of walking between perceived and objective walkability and cognitive function in older adults. Health Place. 2022 Dec 10;79:102943. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102943. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Bellettiere J, Nakandala S, Tuz-Zahra F, Winkler E, Hibbing PR, Healy GN, Dunstan D, Owen N, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Rosenberg DE, Zou J, Carlson JA, Di C, Dillon L, Jankowska MM, LaCroix AZ, Ridgers ND, Kumar A, Natarajan L. CHAP-Adult: a reliable and valid algorithm to classify sitting and measure sitting patterns using data from hip-worn accelerometers in adults aged 35+. J Meas Phys Behav. 2022 Sept 21:1-9. doi: 10.1123/jmpb.2021-0062.
Cruz M, Drewnowski A, Bobb JF, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Cook A, Mooney SJ, Buszkiewicz JH, Lozano P, Rosenberg DE, Kapos F, Theis MK, Anau J, Arterburn D. Differences in weight gain following residential relocation in the Moving to Health (M2H) study. Epidemiology. 2022 Sep 1;33(5):747-755. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001505. Epub 2022 May 20. PubMed
A new study finds that moving from low- to high-density neighborhoods might be related to reductions in weight gain.
Outstanding mentorship — emphasizing equity and inclusion — was recognized.
Dr. Dori Rosenberg discusses her work on a new Cochrane review looking at ways to help older adults be less sedentary.
New research suggests fast food and other aspects of built environments don’t affect weight, contrary to earlier findings.
Take these tips from researchers on the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Physical Activity Special Interest Group.
Seattle Times, April 14, 2023