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January 12, 2011

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UVic Researcher Wins Cancer Society Scientist Award

Regular exercise is a proven factor in fighting cancer, but how do you encourage gamers to get off the couch and become more active? UVic behavioural psychologist Ryan Rhodes has demonstrated that using computer game bikes to power gaming progress is one effective way to motivate people to stick to an exercise regime. In recognition of his work, Rhodes was recently awarded one of only two 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Senior Scientist Awards worth $100,000 a year for five years. The award frees Rhodes from his teaching duties to devote more time to his research.
        “I’m very honoured to be given this award and opportunity. The next series of studies on exercise games, conducted during the tenure of this award, will be focused on evaluating these games in the family home. Prior research has shown positive outcomes in terms of adherence and fitness benefits but the studies are lab-based and comprised of young males,” says Rhodes who is director of UVic’s Behavioural Medicine Laboratory. “There is a convincing link between physical activity and reductions in the prevalence of several cancers. The problem is motivating people to exercise. I want to see if the results I’ve achieved in the lab hold up in the home where there are far more distractions.”
        This career award is presented to researchers who have shown a commitment to cancer prevention interventions research. It’s the latest in a series of honours for Rhodes whose past awards include a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award, and the 2008 Distinguished Investigator of the year from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. For more info visit www.bmed.uvic.ca.


  Media Contacts:

Ryan Rhodes (Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education) at rhodes@uvic.ca
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

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