Miss Sarah Kennedy

Miss Sarah Kennedy

Casual Research Assistant

School of Education

Career Summary

Biography

I graduated from the University of Newcastle (UoN) in 2012, attaining a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. During my final year of my bachelor degree, I completed work experience at the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition (PRC-PAN), which sparked an interest in education. From 2013-2014, I continued to work at the PRC-PAN whilst concurrently completing my Master of Teaching (Primary) at the UoN and my Master of Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) through Edith Cowan University. In 2016, I began my PhD studies on the project ‘Resistance Training for Teens’. This project is a health-related fitness program for secondary school students across New South Wales, which aims to equip adolescents with the necessary knowledge, skills and motivation to be physically active across the lifespan. My interests lie in the innovation of evidence-based programs to improve the physical activity levels of children and youth, as well as the methods in which are employed to further develop these programs for large-scale roll out. I am interested in, and passionate about the inclusion of resistance training within physical activity programs, and the ways in which this exercise can improve the overall health of individuals.

Keywords

  • implementation science
  • Physical Activity
  • Resistance Training
  • school-based health promotion
  • education
  • exercise science
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Plotnikoff RC, Costigan SA, Kennedy SG, Robards SL, Germov J, Wild C, 'Efficacy of interventions targeting alcohol, drug and smoking behaviors in university and college students: A review of randomized controlled trials.', Journal of American college health : J of ACH, 1-17 (2018)
DOI 10.1080/07448481.2018.1462821
Co-authors Ron Plotnikoff, Sarah Costigan, John Germov
2018 Kennedy SG, Smith JJ, Morgan PJ, Peralta LR, Hilland TA, Eather N, et al., 'Implementing Resistance Training in Secondary Schools: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50 62-72 (2018) [C1]

© 2017 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Purpose: Guidelines recommend that young people engage in muscle-strengthening activities on at least 3 dIwkj1. The purpose of t... [more]

© 2017 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Purpose: Guidelines recommend that young people engage in muscle-strengthening activities on at least 3 dIwkj1. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based intervention focused on resistance training (RT) for adolescents. Methods: The ''Resistance Training for Teens'' intervention was evaluated using a cluster-randomized, controlled trial with 607 adolescents (50.1% girls; 14.1 T 0.5 yr) from 16 secondary schools. Teachers were trained to deliver the intervention, which included the following: (i) an interactive student seminar; (ii) a structured physical activity program, focused on RT; (iii) lunchtime fitness sessions; and (iv) Web-based smartphone apps. The primary outcome was muscular fitness (MF) and secondary outcomes included body mass index, RT skill competency, flexibility, physical activity, self-efficacy, and motivation. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 6 months (postprogram; primary end point), and 12 months (follow-up). Outcomes were assessed using linear mixed models, with three potential moderators tested using interaction terms (and subgroup analyses where appropriate). Results: For the primary outcome (MF), a group-time effect was observed at 6 months for the upper body (2.0 repetitions; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.8-3.2), but not the lower body (j1.4 cm; 95% CI, j4.7-1.9). At 6 months, there were intervention effects for RT skill competency and self-efficacy, but no other secondary outcomes. Effects for upper body MF and RT skill competency were sustained at 12 months. Despite overall no effect for body mass index, there was a group-time effect at 12 months among students whowere overweight/obese at baseline (j0.55 kgImj2; 95% CI, j1.01 toj0.08). Conclusions: The school-based RT intervention resulted in immediate and sustained improvements in upper body MF and RT skill competency, demonstrating an effective and scalable approach to delivering RT within secondary schools.

DOI 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001410
Co-authors Ron Plotnikoff, Jordan Smith, David Lubans, Emma R Pollock Uon, Philip Morgan, Narelle Eather
2018 Smith JJ, DeMarco M, Kennedy SG, Kelson M, Barnett LM, Faigenbaum AD, Lubans DR, 'Prevalence and correlates of resistance training skill competence in adolescents', Journal of Sports Sciences, 36 1241-1249 (2018) [C1]

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and correlates of adolescents¿ resistance training (RT) skil... [more]

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and correlates of adolescents¿ resistance training (RT) skill competence. Participants were 548 adolescents (14.1¿±¿0.5¿years) from 16 schools in New South Wales, Australia. RT skills were assessed using the Resistance Training Skills Battery. Demographics, BMI, muscular fitness, perceived strength, RT self-efficacy, and motivation for RT were also assessed. The proportion demonstrating ¿competence¿ and ¿near competence¿ in each of the six RT skills were calculated and sex differences explored. Associations between the combined RT skill score and potential correlates were examined using multi-level linear mixed models. Overall, the prevalence of competence was low (range¿=¿3.3% to 27.9%). Females outperformed males on the squat, lunge and overhead press, whereas males performed better on the push-up (p¿<.05). Significant associations were seen for a number of correlates, which largely differed by sex. Muscular fitness was moderately and positively associated with RT skills among both males (ß¿=¿0.34, 95%CIs¿=¿0.23 to 0.46) and females (ß¿=¿0.36, 95%CIs¿=¿0.23 to 0.48). Our findings support a link between RT skills and muscular fitness. Other associations were statistically significant but small in magnitude, and should therefore be interpreted cautiously.

DOI 10.1080/02640414.2017.1370822
Co-authors Jordan Smith, David Lubans
2017 Rhodes RE, Lubans DR, Karunamuni N, Kennedy S, Plotnikoff R, 'Factors associated with participation in resistance training: A systematic review', British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51 1466-1472 (2017) [C1]

© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly ... [more]

© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. Objective Regular participation in resistance training (RT) is critical to health and recommended in most international physical activity guidelines. Few people, however, participate in RT. The purpose of this review was to assess the demographic, behavioural, intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental factors associated with participating in RT. Data sources Eligible studies were from English peer-reviewed published articles that examined correlates or determinants of RT in adult samples. Searches were performed from August 2015 to April 2016 in six databases. Results We identified 51 independent data sets, from nine countries, primarily of moderate to high quality, and 23 factors related to participating in RT. Education, perceived health status, quality of life, affective judgements, self-efficacy, intention, self-regulation behaviours, subjective norm and programme leadership were associated with RT. Conclusion Low education levels and poor health status were associated with low participation rates in RT. Intrapersonal factors including affective judgements, self-efficacy, and self-regulation behaviours, and interpersonal factors including subjective norms and programme leadership may be important for promoting RT behaviours.

DOI 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096950
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Ron Plotnikoff, David Lubans
2016 Lubans DR, Smith JJ, Peralta LR, Plotnikoff RC, Okely AD, Salmon J, et al., 'A school-based intervention incorporating smartphone technology to improve health-related fitness among adolescents: rationale and study protocol for the NEAT and ATLAS 2.0 cluster randomised controlled trial and dissemination study', BMJ OPEN, 6 (2016)
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010448
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Ron Plotnikoff, Philip Morgan, Jordan Smith, David Lubans, Narelle Eather, Emma R Pollock Uon
2015 Costigan SA, Eather N, Plotnikoff RC, Taaffe DR, Pollock E, Kennedy SG, Lubans DR, 'Preliminary efficacy and feasibility of embedding high intensity interval training into the school day: A pilot randomized controlled trial', Preventive Medicine Reports, 2 973-979 (2015) [C1]

© 2015. Current physical activity and fitness levels among adolescents are low, increasing the risk of chronic disease. Although the efficacy of high intensity interval training (... [more]

© 2015. Current physical activity and fitness levels among adolescents are low, increasing the risk of chronic disease. Although the efficacy of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for improving metabolic health is now well established, it is not known if this type of activity can be effective to improve adolescent health. The primary aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of embedding HIIT into the school day. A 3-arm pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted in one secondary school in Newcastle, Australia. Participants (n= 65; mean age = 15.8(0.6) years) were randomized into one of three conditions: aerobic exercise program (AEP) (n = 21), resistance and aerobic exercise program (RAP) (n = 22) and control (n = 22). The 8-week intervention consisted of three HIIT sessions per week (8-10. min/session), delivered during physical education (PE) lessons or at lunchtime. Assessments were conducted at baseline and post-intervention to detect changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (multi-stage shuttle-run), muscular fitness (push-up, standing long jump tests), body composition (Body Mass Index (BMI), BMI-z scores, waist circumference) and physical activity motivation (questionnaire), by researchers blinded to treatment allocation. Intervention effects for outcomes were examined using linear mixed models, and Cohen's d effect sizes were reported. Participants in the AEP and RAP groups had moderate intervention effects for waist circumference (p = 0.024), BMI-z (p = 0.037) and BMI (not significant) in comparison to the control group. A small intervention effect was also evident for cardiorespiratory fitness in the RAP group.

DOI 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.11.001
Citations Scopus - 8
Co-authors Narelle Eather, Ron Plotnikoff, Sarah Costigan, David Lubans, Emma R Pollock Uon
2015 Plotnikoff RC, Costigan SA, Williams RL, Hutchesson MJ, Kennedy SG, Robards SL, et al., 'Effectiveness of interventions targeting physical activity, nutrition and healthy weight for university and college students: A systematic review and meta-analysis', International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12 1-10 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Plotnikoff et al.; licensee BioMed Central. To examine the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving physical activity, diet, and/or weight-related behaviors amongs... [more]

© 2015 Plotnikoff et al.; licensee BioMed Central. To examine the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving physical activity, diet, and/or weight-related behaviors amongst university/college students. Five online databases were searched (January 1970 to April 2014). Experimental study designs were eligible for inclusion. Data extraction was performed by one reviewer using a standardized form developed by the researchers and checked by a second reviewer. Data were described in a narrative synthesis and meta-analyses were conducted when appropriate. Study quality was also established. Forty-one studies were included; of these, 34 reported significant improvements in one of the key outcomes. Of the studies examining physical activity 18/29 yielded significant results, with meta-analysis demonstrating significant increases in moderate physical activity in intervention groups compared to control. Of the studies examining nutrition, 12/24 reported significantly improved outcomes; only 4/12 assessing weight loss outcomes found significant weight reduction. This appears to be the first systematic review of physical activity, diet and weight loss interventions targeting university and college students. Tertiary institutions are appropriate settings for implementing and evaluating lifestyle interventions, however more research is needed to improve such strategies.

DOI 10.1186/s12966-015-0203-7
Citations Scopus - 41Web of Science - 44
Co-authors Sarah Costigan, John Germov, Jennifer Allen, Ron Plotnikoff, Melinda Hutchesson, Clare Collins, Robin Callister
Show 4 more journal articles
Edit

Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $59,092

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20171 grants / $59,092

Redeveloping Resistance Training for Teens resources to support program dissemination$59,092

Funding body: NSW Department of Education

Funding body NSW Department of Education
Project Team Doctor Jordan Smith, Professor David Lubans, Miss Sarah Kennedy, Professor Philip Morgan, Mr Mike Noetel
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1701277
Type Of Funding C2120 - Aust Commonwealth - Other
Category 2120
UON Y
Edit

Miss Sarah Kennedy

Positions

Casual Research Assistant
PRC Physical Activity and Nutrition
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Casual Research Assistant
PRC Physical Activity and Nutrition
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email sarah.kennedy@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 49217439
Link Twitter

Office

Room ATC-209
Building Advanced Technology Centre
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
Edit