Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

“By bringing innovative prevention and treatment programs into health care systems, communities, and homes, my research helps people of all ages and abilities develop healthy, lifelong activity habits.”

Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH, has conducted extensive research into measuring and intervening on physical activity and sedentary time. Her research incorporates a multi-level and patient-centered perspective to help ensure individuals can be more successful in making healthy lifestyle choices by understanding:

  • individual resources,
  • characteristics,
  • motivation,
  • social lives, and
  • community environments.

Many people face substantial barriers to engaging in physical activity, so Dr. Rosenberg has examined practical approaches to helping people sit less as an alternative strategy to health promotion. Through a series of iterative pilot studies, she has developed a sitting reduction intervention for older adults that is feasible and acceptable based on qualitative and quantitative findings. Furthermore, Dr. Rosenberg is helping to build an evidence base for the health effects of sedentary time. In the Adult Changes in Thought epidemiologic study, she is assessing physical activity and sedentary time with novel devices so she can examine associations with cognitive, functional and physical resilience.

Dr. Rosenberg was invited to participate in the National Institute on Aging and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Sedentary Behavior Workshop in 2013. Her recent publication in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise summarizes recommendations from the panel she helped lead. Dr. Rosenberg hopes increased focus on sedentary behavior will lead to more opportunities for research that can support healthy aging.

Dr. Rosenberg also investigates how the built environment—such as parks, open space, and sidewalks—encourages better health. She envisions more outdoor urban and suburban facilities that invite physical activity and do so inclusively so that individuals of all ages and abilities can use them. Through her research, she advocates for changes to neighborhood, home and work environments to support opportunities for physical activity throughout the day.

Dr. Rosenberg currently holds a career development award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Rosenberg also serves as affiliate assistant professor in the UW School of Public Health Department of Health Services.

Research interests and experience

  • Behavior Change

    Physical activity; sedentary behavior; nutrition; lifestyle interventions;   technology applications; built environment

  • Aging & Geriatrics

    Changing health behaviors including sedentary behavior, physical activity, and nutrition;  role of built environment; promoting physical function and mobility; fall prevention

  • Obesity

    Obesity  prevention and control; physical activity and nutrition promotion; role of sedentary behaviors; role of built environment

  • Chronic Illness Management

    Preventing further disease, declines in function and disability; self-management; fall prevention


Recent publications

Phillips SM, Cadmus-Bertram L, Rosenberg D, Buman MP, Lynch BM. Wearable technology and physical activity in chronic disease: opportunities and challenges. Am J Prev Med. 2017 Nov 6. pii: S0749-3797(17)30456-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.08.015. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lynch BM, Nguyen NH, Reeves MM, Moore MM, Rosenberg DE, Wheeler MJ, Boyle T, Vallance JK, Friedenreich CM, English DR. Study design and methods for the ACTIVity And TEchnology (ACTIVATE) trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Oct 31. pii: S1551-7144(17)30452-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2017.10.015. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Rosenberg DE, Kadokura E, Morris ME, Renz A, Vilardaga RM. Application of N-of-1 experiments to test the efficacy of inactivity alert features in fitness trackers to increase breaks from sitting in older adults. Methods Inf Med. 2017 Aug 16;56(5). doi: 10.3414/ME16-02-0043. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Buchner DM, Rillamas-Sun E, Di C, LaMonte MJ, Marshall SW, Hunt J, Zhang Y, Rosenberg DE, Lee IM, Evenson KR, Herring AH, Lewis CE, Stefanick ML, LaCroix AZ. Accelerometer-measured moderate to vigorous physical activity and incidence rates of falls in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Jul 29. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14960. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


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Center for Community Health and Evaluation: Group Health Research Institute

(YouTube, 5:11)

Being Less Sedentary

Older people can learn to spend less time sitting down

April 8, 2015—Coaching helped Group Health patients sit half hour less per day in pilot study.


Sit less and live longer

KCPQ-TV, Jul 12, 2012