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Xiaoxia Zhang, PhD

Assistant Professor

Professional Highlights

  • Certified Adapted Physical Activity Educator
  • Research emphasis on promoting physical activity and reducing health disparities for individuals with disabilities
  • 2023 Recipient of SHAPE America Thomas L. McKenzie Research Award


  • Ph.D. Physical Activity and Motor Behavior, Kinesiology, The University of Texas at Arlington
  • M.Ed., Adapted Physical Activity, Shanghai University of Sport
  • B.Ed., Physical Education (K-12), Secondary Education, Shanghai University of Sport

Research Interests

  • Adapted Physical Activity for individuals with disabilities
  • Health disparities in movement behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep), obesity, physical fitness, and motor competence
  • The underlying behavioral and social determinants of physical activity and mental health outcomes (e.g., depression, cognition, and quality of life)
  • Technology-based physical activity and health intervention

Biographical Sketch

My goal of research is to promote physical activity and reduce health disparities. My research tests the behavioral, psychological, and environmental factors that contribute to the health disparities, aiming to inform intervention strategies that can increase healthy movement behaviors and reduce health disparities among underserved children and adults (e.g., individuals with disabilities and minority groups). I also examine the population-level surveillance of physical activity and health disparities among children with disabilities and their family members. My expertise in adapted physical activity has been honed through extensive community-based programs for children and adults with disabilities and through collaboration with the multidisciplinary research team.