Carmen Sceppa, associate professor of health sciences
Sceppa is in the vanguard of health scientists who want to transform the way we think about exercise, from a personal choice to preventive medicine.
Chronic health conditions that afflict two-thirds of Americans have roots that go deeper than people’s individual medical and behavioral profiles, says Sceppa. Community factors—environment, economics, and culture—can inhibit regular physical activity.
Changing the terms of the conversation—proving that daily exercise is as effective in maintaining health as any drug—can help overcome those factors, and give the medical community a push in the direction of prescribing a workout instead of a pill.
Sceppa is collaborating with colleagues in nutrition and public health to develop the evidence-based models needed to achieve that transformation.
For example, she and her team successfully tested a community-based, largely peer-led strength-training program for older adults in Boston, and plan to build on it as a model for larger studies.