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Better with Age

Better with Age

Keeping people healthier longer is the goal of UT Arlington’s Center for Healthy Living and Longevity. Led by Assistant Professor Chris Ray, right, in the Kinesiology Department, the center’s efforts include basic science research, evidence-based physical rehabilitation programs, and the development of innovative technologies.

What problems does the center target?

We want to help convince people to make changes in their lifestyles so they can lead healthier, longer lives. More than half of all Texans—about 64 percent—are considered overweight. That’s a problem, especially since increased weight and less active lifestyles have been associated with chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

What research are you working on?

My work is focused on fall prevention in seniors. It involves evaluating the subjects’ balance, as well as assessing their ability to use sensory information like vision. Because many falls take place when seniors are multitasking, we also evaluate that. The subjects are tested initially, as well as during and after a 15-week intervention.

What other projects are being conducted at the center?

Dr. Rhonda Prisby is studying the vascularization of skeletal tissue and how it relates to diseases such as osteoporosis. Dr. David Keller is examining blood pressure control in African-Americans, a group that has the greatest risk of hypertension and death related to it. And Dr. Jacob Resch is conducting a study on concussions among high school athletes.

So it’s not just the Kinesiology Department that’s involved?

No, collaboration across the disciplines is a key feature of the center. We’re drawing researchers from kinesiology, social work, psychology, and engineering. Having all those voices allows us to address the research questions from different perspectives. They all bring their unique backgrounds, training, and approaches, which helps ensure that the solution is comprehensive.