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Paul Gordon, Ph.D. - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Paul Gordon, Ph.D.

Professor of Health, Human Performance and Recreation | Baylor University


Expert on physical activity, and lifestyle-based research related to obesity and its co-morbidities across the lifespan






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Dr. Gordon is Professor of Health, Human Performance and Recreation (HHPR). He came to Baylor in the fall of 2013 with nearly 20 years of experience in academics and medicine. Prior to coming to Baylor, he served as Director of a core clinical translational laboratory in the Medical School at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Gordon’s areas of expertise include physical activity, and lifestyle-based research related to obesity and its co-morbidities across the lifespan. In 2013, he was nationally recognized as a top expert in muscular fitness and health outcomes. He has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator of nearly 40 multi-year research investigations, the majority of which have been funded by federal agencies such as NIH and the CDC, through highly competitive research awards. As a prolific scholar, Dr. Gordon has published more than 200 publications including high impact peer-reviewed articles, abstracts and technical reports. His research has been featured in highly regarded journals such as the International Journal of Obesity, Pediatrics, Diabetes, American Journal of Medicine, Aging Research Reviews, and Archives of Internal Medicine, to name a few. Moreover, Dr. Gordon has published several book chapters and co-authored a leading textbook in clinical exercise physiology.

Throughout his tenure, Dr. Gordon has served as a study section reviewer for various federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH); and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He also serves as an editorial board member for multiple prestigious peer review journals such as Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, PLOS One, Preventing Chronic Disease, Journal of Applied Physiology, Obesity, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Metabolism, and BMC Neuroscience. In addition to his expansive research activities, Dr. Gordon has served as a research/clinical advisor to undergraduate and graduate students as well as a senior mentor to many junior faculty members. As a distinguished researcher and educator, Dr. Gordon has received numerous prestigious awards and honors, including Nationally Recognized Research Expertise from Expertscape, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Fellowship, The Obesity Society (TOS) Fellowship and a Physical Activity and Public Health Fellowship from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Areas of Expertise (7)


Human Performance


Physical Activity & Health


Lifestyle-based Research

Muscular Fitness and Health Outcomes

Accomplishments (1)

Nationally Recognized Research Expertise (professional)


Awarded by Expertscape

Education (5)

University of South Carolina, Prevention Research Center: Fellowship, Physical Activity and Public Health Research Fellowship 1995

University of Pittsburgh: Ph.D., Exercise Physiology 1992

University of Pittsburgh: M.P.H., Epidemiology 1991

University of Pittsburgh: M.S., Exercise Physiology 1987

University of Pittsburgh: B.A., Business/Economics 1983

Affiliations (1)

  • American College of Sports Medicine: Certified Exercise Specialist for Preventive and Rehabilitative Exercise Programs

Media Appearances (6)

Walking 10,000 Steps a Day May Not Be Enough: How Many Minutes Should it Be?

The Science Times  online


Baylor exercise physiologist Paul Gordon, Ph.D., is quoted in this article about whether walking 10,000 steps a day is good for the health. Gordon said that an average person usually takes about 3,000 to 6,000 steps a day during commuting, shopping, and doing other activities. He added that walking more steps is always better.

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Baylor Expert Shares Tips to Help Kids Maintain, Improve Fitness During Time Out of School

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online


Millions of children and teens throughout the United States are relegated to their homes in attempt to help “flatten the curve” and spread of COVID-19. As parents struggle to carve out a new normal for themselves and their children, a Baylor University expert, Paul Gordon, Ph.D., says physical fitness should still be a priority.

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Die Wissenschaft hat das Handlesen entdeckt

Schweizer Illustrierte (Switzerland)  online


(Article is in German) Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte reports on 2018 Baylor research by Paul M. Gordon, Ph.D., professor and chair of health, human performance and recreation in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. He found that adolescents with a strong hand grip — an indicator of overall muscle strength — have better odds of being healthy over time.

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Grip Strength of Children Gives Clues about Their Future Health, Study Finds

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online


Measuring hand grip can help identify youths who could benefit from lifestyle changes to improve health, Paul Gordon, professor and chair of health, human performance and recreation in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, says. Adolescents with a strong hand grip — an indicator of overall muscle strength — have better odds of being healthy over time, according to a two-year study of 368 elementary school children.

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Baylor study: strength training lowers kids’ risks of developing diabetes, heart disease

Waco Tribune  


The study, led by health, human performance and recreation department Chairman Paul Gordon, suggests that strength training may have greater benefits against those diseases than simply diet and aerobic or cardio exercises. The research was published last month in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal. Examples of strength-building exercises recommended for children include pushups, situps, organized sports and climbing on play equipment, Gordon said...

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Stronger muscles may mean better health for kids

CBS News  


Greater strength was associated with lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (another blood fat), and higher levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. The stronger kids also had slightly lower blood pressure and blood sugar. What's more, the benefits were specifically linked to muscle strength. It wasn't just a matter of strong kids being thinner or more physically active, said researcher Paul Gordon, a professor of health, human performance and recreation at Baylor University...

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Answers (1)

How can a lack of physical activity impact my health?

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A sedentary lifestyle has numerous untoward effects on health. In fact, even individuals who are meeting basic activity levels can be at increased risk for diseases if they are overly sedentary. Increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic abnormalities (i.e., diabetes) occur from sedentary living. Obesity has reached epidemic levels in our society, and a primary factor is sedentariness. It’s important to take breaks from sitting and get up and walk around.

Articles (5)

Aging influences the expression of early response genes following acute resistance exercise in trained skeletal muscle

The FASEB Journal

2013 To identify the influence of age on skeletal muscle transcriptional responses to resistance exercise (RE), we recruited 14 young (60 y) participants. They underwent 12-week unilateral arm RE training, and conducted one bout of acute RE one week later. Biceps brachii muscle biopsies were obtained 4h and 24h post exercise (PE). Gene expression was assessed using Affymetrix U133A microarrays, and analyzed using an intensity-based Bayesian moderated paired t-test. The immediate-early response genes FOS, EGR1, JUNB, and NR4A3, and other key genes for muscle metabolism including IL6R, PRKAG2, EIF2AK3, HEY1, and ANKRD1, showed striking differences between young and old muscle. They were dramatically up-regulated PE in the young, but highly down-regulated in the old (Table 1). This age effect might implicate the diminished metabolic and hypertrophic benefits of RE with aging.

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Recumbent Cross-Training Is a Feasible and Safe Mode of Physical Activity for Significantly Motor-Impaired Adults With Cerebral Palsy

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

2012 To examine the feasibility and potential benefits of using recumbent cross-training for nonambulatory adults with cerebral palsy (CP)...

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Influence of resistance exercise on lean body mass in aging adults: a meta-analysis

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

2011 Sarcopenia plays a principal role in the pathogenesis of frailty and functional impairment that occurs with aging. There are few published accounts which examine the overall benefit of resistance exercise (RE) for lean body mass (LBM), while considering a...

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Resistance exercise for the aging adult: clinical implications and prescription guidelines

The American Journal of Medicine

2011 Sarcopenia and weakness are known to precipitate risk for disability, comorbidity, and diminished independence among aging adults. Resistance exercise has been proposed as a viable intervention to elicit muscular adaptation and improve function...

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Resistance exercise for muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis

Ageing Research Reviews

2010 The effectiveness of resistance exercise for strength improvement among aging persons is inconsistent across investigations, and there is a lack of research synthesis for multiple strength outcomes...

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