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Linda Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Linda Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA

Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology | University of Connecticut


Dr. Pescatello specializes in exercise prescription for health benefit


Dr. Linda S. Pescatello is a Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut (UConn), Storrs. She holds affiliate appointments in the Departments of Allied Health Sciences and Physiology and Neurobiology and is a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy at UConn. Her research focuses on exercise prescription to optimize health benefits, namely adults with hypertension and overweight and obesity; and on genetic and clinical determinants of the response of health-related phenotypes to exercise, particularly blood pressure and muscle strength. Dr. Pescatello is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Citation Award recipient, was an associate editor of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription the eighth edition, was the senior editor of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription the ninth edition, and she served as an expert panel and writing team member on an update of the ACSM’s exercise preparticipation health screening recommendations published in Medicine & Science in Exercise & Sport. Dr. Pescatello recently served as a member of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the working groups of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology and the Council of Hypertension of the European Society of Cardiology Position Statement on Exercise and Hypertension. She has authored served over 180 manuscripts, four books, and 16 book chapters, and has had numerous UConn, American Heart Association, National Dairy Council, National Institutes of Health, and Unites States Department of Agriculture-funded grants. Dr. Pescatello has served as an ACSM Vice President of Basic and Allied Science, Chair of the ACSM Pronouncements Committee, and as a member of the ACSM Board of Trustees and Administrative Council. Dr. Pescatello is also a Past President of the New England Chapter of the ACSM, and serves on their Board of Trustees.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular Disease

Complementary and Alternative Exercise

Exercise Genomics

Exercise Prescription



Physical Activity

Education (4)

John B. Pierce Foundation, Yale University School of Medicine: Postdoctoral Research

University of Connecticut: Ph.D., Exercise Science

University of Connecticut: M.A., Exercise Science

University of Connecticut: B.S., Biological Sciences

Affiliations (2)

  • Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Member
  • Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, Health Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Accomplishments (6)

UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards. Teaching Innovation


Elected as an Active Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology


New England American College of Sports Medicine David N. Camaione Doctoral Scholarship (professional)

Renamed to Linda S. Pescatello Doctoral Scholarship 2018 - present

University of Connecticut Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award on the Graduate Level (professional)


Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, 2013 (professional)

University of Connecticut

Citation Award (professional)

American College of Sports Medicine, 2011


Media Appearances (8)

Extreme Exercise Carries Metabolic Consequences: Study

The Scientist  online


Linda Pescatello, who studies the health effects of exercise at the University of Connecticut and was not involved in the study, says she suspects the findings about the effects of overexercise do indeed have real-life ramifications, with individuals having different thresholds for overexercise depending on their fitness levels. “These extreme forms of exercise in this article are not applicable to the general recreational exerciser, but I think the overarching principles about training are,” she says.

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Staying Physically Active May Lower Your Risk of Death by 30%

Healthline  online


If you exercise more, you get some additional benefit, but not much. There’s also a greater risk of overuse injuries at higher volumes of exercise. However, the sharpest increase in benefit occurs early on — just by getting off the couch. “Even if you’re not meeting the recommendations, you’re getting substantial health benefits by not being sedentary,” said Linda S. Pescatello, PhD, a kinesiology professor at the University of Connecticut.

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How Will Our Bodies Change From Being Inside for Months?

Gizmodo  online


It doesn’t matter if you’re inside or outside if you’re not practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors. If you’re living unhealthily already, the lockdown might just expedite those tendencies, because you’re locked indoors with not a lot of things to do. Things could change substantially, even if you were living a relatively healthy life beforehand.

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Don't get TOO much exercise during your coronavirus quarantine. Here's why.

USA Today  online


You might logically assume that more exercise is better because you have more time on your hands, but that's not really the case. Benefits top out at about 300 minutes per week. "Whatever your regular exercise routine was, I wouldn't alter it because of COVID-19 per se," says Linda S. Pescatello, a kinesiology professor at the University of Connecticut.

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Study: Yoga Breathing and Relaxation Lower Blood Pressure

UConn Today  online


Wu is working with Linda Pescatello, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology, and associate professor Beth Taylor in the Health Fitness Research Laboratory, part of the kinesiology department’s Human Performance Laboratory.

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In Just 15 Minutes, Your Future Will Seem Brighter

Emax Health  online


"Senior researcher Professor Linda Pescatello and team tracked the activity of 419 generally healthy middle-aged adults. The participants also filled out questionnaires on psychological well-being, depression level, pain, and ability to complete activities of daily living..."

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The Task of Being Happy is a ‘Walk in the Park’ for Some

The Economic Times  online


"For those keeping score, light physical activity is the equivalent of taking a leisurely walk around the mall with no noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate, or sweating, says Distinguished Kinesiology Professor Linda Pescatello, senior researcher on the project..."

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Tai Chi Resembles Drugs, Aerobics in Blood Pressure Lowering

Medscape  online


"The traditional Chinese discipline offers possibilities for older people who can't or don't want to exercise strenuously, said Linda Pescatello, PhD, from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. 'Tai chi is low intensity, it's social, and this modality would be very attractive to older adults,' she told Medscape Medical News. This means that 'they may be more adherent to it than to other forms of exercise...'"

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Event Appearances (4)

The influence of gender on blood pressure benefits of nontraditionl exercise modes among aults with hypertension: A meta-review

European College of Sports Science - 2020  Sevilla, Spain (cancelled due to COVID-19)

Highlighted Symposium. Exercise and Medications in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

American College of Sports Medicine - 2020  San Francisco, CA (cancelled due to COVID-19)

The Need for Exercise Recommendations for Children and Adolescents Post-Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review

American College of Sports Medicine - 2020  San Francisco, CA (cancelled due to COVID-19)

Alternative Types of Exercise to Prevent and Treat Hypertension: The Wave of the Future

Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development- CIDESD - 2019  Maia, Portugal

Articles (6)

Tai Ji Quan as antihypertensive lifestyle therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Sci Med Sport

2020 Professional health organizations are not currently recommending Tai Ji Quan alongside aerobic exercise to treat hypertension. We aimed to examine the efficacy of Tai Ji Quan as antihypertensive lifestyle therapy.

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Using the Immediate Blood Pressure Benefits of Exercise to Improve Exercise Adherence Among Adults With Hypertension: A Randomized Clinical Trial

J Hypertens

2019 A single exercise session evokes immediate blood pressure (BP) reductions that persist for at least 24 h, termed postexercise hypotension (PEH). Self-monitoring of PEH may foster positive outcome expectations of exercise, and thus, enhance exercise adherence among adults with hypertension.

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Yoga as Antihypertensive Lifestyle Therapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Mayo Clinic Proc

2019 We systematically searched 6 electronic databases from inception through June 4, 2018, for articles published in English language journals on trials of yoga interventions that involved adult participants, reported preintervention and postintervention BP, and had a nonexercise/nondiet control group.

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A Systematically Assembled Signature of Genes to Be Deep-Sequenced for Their Associations With the Blood Pressure Response to Exercise

Genes (Basel)

2019 Exercise is one of the best nonpharmacologic therapies to treat hypertension. The blood pressure (BP) response to exercise is heritable. Yet, the genetic basis for the antihypertensive effects of exercise remains elusive. Methods: To assemble a prioritized gene signature, we performed a systematic review with a series of Boolean searches in PubMed (including Medline) from earliest coverage.

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Health behavior change in cardiovascular disease prevention and management: Meta-Review of behavior change techniques to affect self-regulation processes

Health Psychol Rev

2019 Self-regulation processes assume a major role in health behaviour theory and are postulated as important mechanisms of action in behavioural interventions to improve health prevention and management. The need to better understand mechanisms of behaviour change interventions for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) called for conducting a meta-review of meta-analyses for interventions targeting self-regulation processes.

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Can Exercise Improve Cognitive Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?

J Am Geriatr Soc

2018 To examine the effects of exercise training on cognitive function in individuals at risk of or diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

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