Andrea Mayo

“I did a lot of sports in high school, and I really appreciate the value of health. UNB has a good kinesiology program, but it wasn’t until I took Dr. Danielle Bouchard’s class about aging and physical activity, I opened a door in kinesiology that wasn’t shown to me before. Then I became her research assistant working in local nursing homes, and I just felt in love with older people, hmm, older adults, that’s the proper term. I was trying to see if I could give an exercise program that might improve their ability to do activities on their own within wheelchairs, because a lot of exercise programs right now are for those who’re able to walk, but not many that gear towards those who can’t get over the chairs.”

“Now [for my master’s] I work with databases, trying to see what we can do through physical activity behaviours to prevent the likelihood of having a higher physical function capacity, or being able to be independent. Even if people are active, what they do outside their work-out routines can also impact their health overall, so sleep time, sitting time, light activities, and these areas are included in new guidelines that are implemented in younger age groups. Very little had been done in elder populations. My supervisor gave me a few options, and the idea of working with a database just seemed interesting and unique, also I was interested in this project because I thought ‘how would this not have been implemented?’ ”

“I used SPSS and R to set up that base data [for the project], but as I move forward in my academic career, I’d love to get better at coding. It really empowers researchers to do things. In my undergrad, Excel was the extent that I ever used, and there’s very little in undergrad that reflects anything in my master’s. Having a few proper courses to prepare us would have been great.”


Andrea Mayo is from East Hants, NS. She lived in Fredericton NB for 6 years, finished her undergraduate and master’s degree in kinesiology at UNB Fredericton, and she moved back to Nova Scotia this September to start her PhD at Dalhousie University.

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