Kathy Gunter

Academic interests

My current research and practice efforts focus on developing and evaluating physical activity promotion strategies. Most of my work involves partnering with organizations such as Cooperative Extension, state agencies, or community groups to expand, extend, and/or enhance opportunities for physical activity. Settings include schools, child care and community organizations. Current work involves: 1.) Examination of four-day school week policies on health and well-being of children and families; 2.) Development, dissemination and evaluation of school-based physical activity promotion strategies; 3.) Development, dissemination and evaluation of community-based fall and fracture prevention programs.


Kathy has a majority appointment in Health Extension and is a member of the Kinesiology program faculty. She serves as director of the Healthy Lifestyles and Obesity Prevention Research Core at the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families. Her research focuses on developing, implementing and evaluating physical activity programs. She has directed these efforts toward individuals, families, childcare environments, schools and rural populations.

She is currently the principal investigator (with Deborah John) on a five-year, federally funded project to understand the effects of school and community environments on family and child physical activity and healthy eating behaviors, and child risk for obesity.