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Faculty of Kinesiology
UNB Fredericton

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Our research

Ongoing projects

What are the short and long-term benefits of an exercise and education program for older adults living with Type 2 Diabetes and frailty?

New Brunswick has one of the highest rates of diabetes in Canada while simultaneously leading the country with the highest average age of residents. This is of great concern, as studies suggest a higher prevalence of frailty in older adults; therefore, an increased number of individuals impacted by frailty is expected in the near future.

Frailty is characterized by a decrease in physiological reserve of multiple systems, impairing the ability to tolerate minor stressors and increasing vulnerability to adverse health outcomes. Likewise, one in four New Brunswickers over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with diabetes. Band-Frail was developed with the hope of counteracting the negative effects of aging and diabetes, allowing seniors to maintain their independence and remain in their communities for longer.

Band-Frail is a free 16-week program lead by a Certified Diabetes Educator and Research Assistant with sessions consisting of diabetes education and resistance training using elastic bands. The goal is to test participants after they have completed the 16-week program for improvements in physical function, as well as psychological and social health. By partnering with the Government of New Brunswick Department of Health, we hope to trace participants in the future to determine whether there are any long-term benefits from the Band-Frail program.


Can people who do not respond to a standard exercise prescription be ‘rescued’ by increasing exercise intensity?

Exercise is recommended to improve glycemic control. Yet, individual changes in glycemic control following exercise can vary greatly, meaning while some significantly improve others, coined ‘non-responders’, do not. Increasing the intensity of exercise may ‘rescue’ non-responders and help generate a response to training.

This trial will identify non-responders to changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) across inactive individuals living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus following an aerobic exercise program and evaluate if increasing training intensity will elicit beneficial changes to ‘rescue’ previously categorized non-responders.


Can circuit resistance training improve exercise adherence ‎for men living with obesity?

Physical activity is often recommended to reduce the complications associated with obesity, but people living with obesity exercise less than their healthy counterparts. Most resources for obesity management are targeting women. Emerging evidence suggests that alternative obesity management strategies need to address gender preferences to adopt healthier lifestyles such as resistance training.

This program includes a 12-week home-based circuit resistance training plus nine months of data. The goal of this study is to examine long-term adherence to the physical activity guidelines for men living with obesity who are exposed to a circuit resistance training program.


Can we understand if NB seniors who have access to outdoor gyms are using them?

Across all age groups, sedentary behaviour has been established as a risk factor for poor health. Sitting for a long time every day increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as other issues that are common in older adults, such as problems with mobility and memory. Older adults in assisted living often have little need to engage in light intensity activities such as household chores which leads to even more sitting compared to those who live in the community.


Completed projects

Bouchard D.R. Bouffard-Levasseur, V., MacDonald, T., Olthius, J., MacCallum, C., Sénéchal, M. Peer-led exercise program for ageing adults to improve physical functions - a randomized trial. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 2021, 18: 2.


Does standing for 100 minutes per week increase functional abilities for older adults living in nursing homes?

Initial findings suggest only 15% of participants improved physical function outcome (e.g., gait speed) following the standing intervention.

Video: Stand if you Can


To describe the variability during weekly performance on common physical function tests and its association with self-perceived fatigue and energy during a 12-week exercise intervention for breast cancer patients.

Weekly variability in physical function tests should be considered when testing breast cancer patient. However, variability in physical function tests were not associated with self-perceived fatigue and energy.


Does home-based exercise program for an inactive older adult adults help overcome barriers for regular exercise at the recommended intensity.

A home-based exercise program could potentially increase the physical activity level of inactive older adults, especially for those intimated by a fitness facility setting.


Do skeletal muscles release more irisin during endurance exercise performed at moderate intensity, as compared to endurance exercise performed at high intensity? Is the release of irisin associated with a better insulin sensitivity?


Colpitts, B. H., Seaman, K., Eadie, A. L., Brunt, K. R., Bouchard, D. R., Sénéchal M. Effects of Sprint Interval Training on Metabolic Flexibility in Adults Living with Obesity: the i-FLEX Study. Physiological Reports, 2021, 9(11): e14916.


Does sitting time impact acute physical performance in varsity athletes?

Uninterrupted sitting for 5 hours prior to exercise had no negative effect on performance outcomes in athletes.

Thurston B., Sénéchal M., Bouchard D.R., Belyea E., Saunders T.J., Burr J.F. Single Exposure to prolonged sitting prior to exercise does not impact athletic performance ability. International Journal of Sports Science, 2020; 10(1): 7-14.


Do waist and hip circumference influence the accuracy of the bio-impedance device as compared to the appropriate gold standard measurement?

How many steps per minute must participants take in order to reach moderate intensity (40% of VO2 reserve) physical activity?

Bio-impedance models offer a measurement agreeing with the estimation obtained with the Bod Pod with the exception of people having a greater waist or greater hip.

The average walking cadence to reach moderate intensity was approximately 115 steps per minute.

Long V., Short M., Smith S., Sénéchal M., Bouchard D.R. Testing Bio-impedance to Estimate Body Fat Percentage across Different Hip and Waist Circumferences. Journal of Sports Medicine, 2019.

Serrano, F., Slaght, J., Sénéchal, M., Duhamel T., Bouchard, D.R. Identification and Prediction of the Walking Cadence Required to Reach Moderate Intensity Using Individually Determined Relative Modern Intensity in Older Adults. Journal of Aging of Physical Activity, 2017, 25(2): 205-211.


Can the Hockey Fans in Training (Hockey FIT®) program help overweight male university hockey fans improve their health through exercise and diet?

The findings confirm the benefits of the HFIT® program using a variety of objective health measures among university hockey fans.

Colpitts B.H., Keshavarz M., Blake M., Sénéchal M., Gallibois M., Olthius J., Petrella R., Bouchard D.R. Exploring the Objective Benefits of the Hockey Fans in Training (HFIT) in a University Hockey Fanbase for Overweight Men. Journal of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, 2021, in press.


To determine whether children receiving instant feedback of their exercise intensity, via technology, would spend more time in moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity (70% of maximum capacity) during active play sessions.

Receiving instant exercise intensity feedback does not increase the amount of time spent at moderate intensity or above when involved in an active play program.

Blake, M., Sénéchal, M., Comeau, M., Smith, S., Bouchard, D.R. Is providing immediate feed-back of exercise intensity associated with a greater proportion of time spent at moderate to vigorous intensity? JIMR-Pediatric and Parenting, 2018


Does the intensity of exercise impact the acute release of irisin in children living with obesity?

High intensity interval training appears to be more effective in releasing irisin than moderate intensity exercise, but this is driven by youth with a healthy body weight and not those living with obesity.


Does a resistance-only circuit training at moderate intensity for 150 minutes per week, lead to equivalent improvements to fitness level in comparison to the current physical activity guidelines.

Adults living with obesity can reach moderate intensity while performing the resistance-only circuit training program. Such program could lead to health improvements and seems interesting for this population.


Rioux B.V., Brunt K., Eadie, A., Fox J., Bouchard D.R., Sénéchal M. The Impact of Acute Circuit Training on Irisin in Younger and Older Adults Living with Overweight or Obesity: The REACTION Study. Journal of Applied Physiology, in press, 2021.


Hrubeniuk T., Hay J., MacIntosh A.C., Wicklow B., Wittmeier K., McGavock J.M., Sénéchal M. Interindividual variation in cardiometabolic health outcomes following 6-months endurance training in overweight and obese youth at risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, in Press, 2021.

Mayo, A., Sénéchal, M., Boudreau, J., Belanger, M., Bouchard D.R. Potential Functional Benefits of a Comprehensive Evaluation of Physical Activity for Aging Adults: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Aging Clin Exp Res, 2020, 33: 285-289.

Lee A., Sénéchal M., Read E., & Bouchard D.R. Exploring the Attendance and Potential Benefits of Reducing Sitting Time for Residents in a Canadian Long-term Care: A Pilot Study. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 2020, 6: 1-8.

Hrubeniuk T., Bouchard D.R., Gurd B.J, Sénéchal M. Can non-responders be ‘rescued’ by increasing exercise intensity? A quasi-experimental trial of individual responses among humans living with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus in Canada. BMJ Open, 2021, 11(4).

Hébert J.J., Sénéchal M., Fairchild T., Møller N., Klakk, H., Wedderkopp, N. Developmental Trajectories of Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference, and Aerobic Fitness in Youth: Implications for Physical Activity Guideline Recommendations (CHAMPS Study-DK). Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). 2020, 50: 2253-2261.

Colpitts, B.H., Smith, S., Boudreau J, Bouchard, D.R., Sénéchal, M. Are Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Patterns Contributing to Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome Simultaneously. Translational Sports Medicine, 2021, 4(2): 231-240.

Eltonsy S., Doiron M.D., Simard P., Jose C., Sénéchal M., Bouchard D.R., LeBlanc R., Bélanger M. Comparing the effect of combining exercise with rosuvastatin versus atorvastatin on lipid profile and functional capacity: a retrospective cohort study. BioMed Research International, 2020.

Rioux B.V., Gupta N., Bouchard D.R., Dunbar J., Sénéchal M. Outdoor Time is Not Associated with Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Phenotype in Canadian Children Aged 6-14 Years. International Journal of Exercise Science, 2020; 13(2):383-397.

MacLeod L., Bouchard D.R., Hebert J.J., Boudreau J., Sénéchal M. Association between a comprehensive movement assessment and metabolically healthy overweight-obese adults. Scientific Reports, 2020, 10(1) 1-9.

Lee A., Sénéchal M., Hrubeniuk T., Bouchard D.R. Is sitting time leading to mobility decline in long-term care? Aging Clinical Experimental Research, 2020, 32(1): 183-186.

Hrubeniuk T., Gurd B., Goulet E., Bouchard D.R., Sénéchal M. The ability of exercise training to practically improve glucose tolerance in individuals living with prediabetes: A meta-analysis. Scandinavian Journal Medicine and Science in Sports, 2019, 30(2): 209-2016.

Colpitts B., Bouchard D.R., Keshavarz, M., Boudreau J., & Sénéchal M. Does Lean Body Mass Equal Health Despite Body Mass Index? Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 2019, 30(4): 672-679.

Smith S., Short M., Sénéchal M., Bouchard D.R. Validation of Practical Tools to Identify Walking Cadence to Reach Moderate Intensity at different speeds and slopes. International Journal of Exercise Science, 2019, 12(4): 1244-1253.

Jarvie J.L., Pandey A., Ayers C.R., McGavock J.M., Sénéchal M., Berry J.D., Patel K.V., McGuire D.K. Aerobic fitness and adherence to guideline-recommended minimum physical activity among ambulatory patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care, 2019, Jul, 42(7): 1333-1339.

Hrubeniuk T., Mayo A., Sénéchal M., Bouchard D.R. Association between physical function and various patterns of physical activity in older adults: a cross-sectional analysis. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 2020, 32(6): 1017-1024.

Eltonsy S., Doiron M.D., Simard P., Jose C., Sénéchal M., Bouchard D.R., LeBlanc R., Bélanger M. Effects of the combination of metformin and exercise on glycated hemoglobin, functional capacity, lipid profile, quality of life, and body weight. Journal of International Medical Research, 2019, 47(3): 1131-1145.

Eltonsy, S., Doiron, M.S., Simard, P., Jose, C., Sénéchal, M., Bouchard, D.R., LeBlanc, R., Bélanger, M. Assessing the impact of interactions between metformin and physical exercise on HbA1c, functional capacity, lipid profile, quality of life and weight. Journal of International Medical Research, 2018

Blizzard, D., Rioux, B.V., Pelech, C., Kimber, D., Duhamel, T.A., Dolinsky, V., McGavok, J.M., Sénéchal, M. Exercise-induced irisin release as a determinant of the metabolic response to exercise training in obese youth: The EXIT. Physiological Reports, 2017, 20175 (23) e1353

de Winter, M.J, Boudreau, J., Rioux, B.V., Bouchard, D.R., Sénéchal, M. Physical activity and sedentary time patterns among metabolically healthy obese youth and adults. Journal of Diabetes Research, 2017

Comeau, M.E., Levesque, C., Johnson, M.J., Rioux, B.V., Mayo, A., Bouchard, D.R., S.B.V., Sénéchal, M. Association between functional movements skills and health indicators in Canadian children age between 9 and 12 years old. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017, Sept 4; 14(9). Pi: E1010. Doi: 10.3390/ijerph14091010.

Bouchard, D.R., Hrubeniuk, T., Sénéchal, M. Is Exercise a Solution for Every Individual Living with Chronic Conditions? Current Research in Diabetes & Obesity Journal, 2017, 2(4)

Rioux, B.V., Kuwornu, P., Sharma, A., Tremblay, M.S., McGavock, J.M., Sénéchal, M. Association Between Handgrip Muscle Strength and Cardiometabolic Z-score in Children 6 to 19 Years of Age. Metabolic Syndrome Related Disorders; 2017, 15(7): 379-384.

Bharti, N., Hrubeniuk, T, Mayo, A, Sénéchal, M., Bouchard, D.R. Resistance Training Contributes to the Aerobic Components of an Exercise Session in Adults but not as Much in Older Adults. International Journal of Exercise Science; 2017; 10(3): 406-416.

Fox, J., Rioux, B.V., Goulet, E.D.B., Johanssen, N.M., Swift, D.L., Bouchard, D.R., Sénéchal, M. Effect of an acute exercise bout on immediate post exercise irisin concentration in adults: A Meta-Analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports; 2017, Apr 28; doi : 10.1111./sms.12904.

Mitchell, C., McMillan, A., Sénéchal, M., Slaght, J., Bouchard, D.R. Time spent in select physical activity intensities and sedentary time, associations with physical capacity in inactive older adults. The Journal of Physical Activity and Research, 2017

Slaght, J., Sénéchal, M., Bouchard, D.R. Impact of walking cadence prescription to reach the Canadian physical activity guideline in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2017, Mar 1, 1(25).

Slaght, J., Sénéchal, M., Hrubeniuk, T.J., Mayo, A., Bouchard, D.R. Walking Cadence to Exercise at Moderate Intensity for Adults: A Systematic Review. Journal of Sports Medicine, 2017.

McLellan, A.G., Slaght, J., Craig, C.M., Mayo, A., Sénéchal, M., Bouchard, D.R. Can older adults improve the identification of moderate intensity using walking cadence. Aging and Clinical Experimental Research, 2017, 1(4).

Rioux, B.V., Sénéchal, M., Kwok, K., Fox, J., Barti, N., Hardy, K., Bouchard, D.R. The Association between Physical Activity Intensity and Physical Function among Morbidly Obese Individuals Obesity Surgery; 2016 27:1277.

Craig, C.M., McLellan, A.G., Sénéchal, M., Slaght, J., Bouchard, D.R. Time Spent in Select Physical Activity Intensities and Sedentary time, Associations with Physical Capacity in Inactive Older Adults. The Journal of Physical Activity and Research; 2016, 1(1): 31-35.

Bouchard, D.R., Strachan,S., Chitkara,R., McMillan,D., Johnson, L., Myrie, S., Moola, F., & Giesbrecht, GG. Using Shared Treadmill Workstations to Promote Less Time Spent in Daily Low Intensity Physical Activities: A Pilot Study. J Phys Act Health. (2016). 13(1):111-8.

A total of 92 publications