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Children's Physical Activity and Fitness (CPAF) Lab

Children’s Physical Activity and Fitness Laboratory’s (CPAF) research is focused on improving population health through education and empirical research and increasing public awareness on issues related to physical education and activity.

Specializing in innovative motivational processes impacting adoption, engagement, and maintenance of physical activity behaviors, our lab is located in Room 328 of the Ramsey Student Center.


Our efforts are centered on positive psychology and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000). Additionally, we are specialists in conducting rigorous randomized controlled trials in real world contexts. We are conducting research in the following areas:

Psychological Need-Support in Physical Education and Activity

CPAF’s research team is focused on examining the role of psychological, need-supportive instruction in physical education. Specifically, we examine how need-supportive experiences in physical education can improve student motivation, positively affect student outcomes, and facilitate lifelong sustainable physical activity and behavior.

Psychological Need-Supportive Lifestyle Interventions

The CPAF research team is involved in several projects with 501(c) nonprofit organizations and primary care facilities promoting healthy physical activity and dietary behaviors among underserved communities.

Remote Exercising

Our research is working on determining the most effective ways to engage in remote exercise, such as exergaming or online exercising. The potential of this approach is unlimited as small investments can have a huge impact on population health.

Research Opportunities

CPAF, under Sami Yli-Piipari’s leadership, is happy to support your research aspirations by supervising independent studies and providing volunteering opportunities.

Please contact Yli-Piipari for more specific research opportunities.

Our Team

Every semester, CPAF works with numerous undergraduate students from different disciplines.

Dr. Sami Yli-Piipari

Associate professor and lab director

Yongju Hwang

Graduate student and student lab director

Yangyang Deng

Graduate student

Taewoo Kim

Graduate student


CPAF is a 2,000-square-foot exergaming and remote exercise laboratory. Our lab is equipped with devices, such as:

  • Xbox One gaming stations (5)

  • ActiGraph link accelerometers (50+)

  • Digiwalker pedometers (100+)

  • Digital cameras (for teaching strategy observation)

  • Micro-cassette transcribers (to transcribe interviews)

  • Data analysis software will include Mplus, HLM, and NVivo for interview data analysis

  • FitnessGram assessment kits (2)

  • Seca weight scale and height measure

  • Tanita body comp analyzers (4)

  • Locked storages for hardcopies (i.e., consents, assessments) and password protected computers for electronic data storage that serve as the main location for data analyses and storage

Contact Info

Director: Sami Yli-Piipari
Ramsey Student Center Room 328 330 River Road Athens, GA, 30602
© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602