Gregory J. Welk


Gregory WelkDr. Gregory J. Welk will provide a presentation titled “Physical Education and Public Health: Insights from the Evaluation and Dissemination of FITNESSGRAM Programming”.

Dr. Welk is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. He is an established public health scholar with specific expertise in the assessment and promotion of physical activity. He is an experienced NIH-funded investigator and has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He edited a reference book on physical activity assessment methods and is a co-author of a popular college – level health and fitness text (Concepts of Fitness and Wellness). Dr. Welk is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) and an inducted member of the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK).

A major focus of his work has been on the intersection between physical education and public health. He has served as the Scientific Director of FITNESSGRAM for nearly 20 years, including a 4 year stint as the Director of Childhood Health Division at the Cooper Institute. In this role, Dr. Welk has guided the Scientific Advisory Board to continue refining and improving the accuracy and utility of the FITNESSGRAM health related fitness battery. He contributed to the development of the development of the ACTIVITYGRAM assessment in the battery and led research teams affiliated with the Cooper Institute to develop new health related fitness standards for FITNESSGRAM as well as a systematic evaluation of health related fitness levels in the state of Texas (Texas Youth Fitness Study). More recently, he led a team working on international applications for FITNESSGRAM including the evaluation of the standards in a nationally representative sample of Hungarian youth. He currently oversees the evaluation of a large participatory network of over 1000 schools in the U.S. (NFL PLAY 60 FITNESSGRAM Partnership Project) and the refinement of a calibrated physical activity assessment tool (Youth Activity Profile) that is now part of the FITNESSGRAM battery. Dr. Welk will provide unique insights about the public health impact of physical education programming and the need for international collaboration in his presentation.