Exercise is medicine, and it is vital for healthy, successful aging. Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Shilpa Dogra, PhD, is flexing her exercise science muscle to enable older adults to remain physically active and shift the focus from activities they can no longer do to exercises they can and should do to keep fit. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on the effects of physical activity among two populations: older adults and adults with asthma. Her research explores the effects of sedentary time on the biopsychosocial components of health of older adults. She recently led the development of an international consensus statement to address this, and is planning studies to reduce sedentary time across the spectrum of older adults, from those living in assisted care facilities to masters athletes.
Growing up with asthma, she learned from having a progressive physician that asthma shouldn’t prevent anyone from being physically active. This firm belief motivates her exercise science research to determine the optimal intensity and duration of exercise for adults with asthma. Her work aims to inform future exercise prescription guidelines for this population. She is also studying the prevalence of asthma among Special Olympic athletes and assessing whether coaches need education programs to help manage and improve these athletes’ performance.
A community expert, Dr. Dogra works with local organizations to conduct fitness testing of sports teams and athletes including the Oshawa Generals, which also enables her students to gain hands-on experience. Before joining UOIT in 2013, Dr. Dogra was an Assistant Professor in the School of Recreation Management and Kinesiology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She was also Director of the Acadia Active Aging Program, a community-based exercise program that paired older adults with Kinesiology students. During that time, she held a summer research visitorship in Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology and Aging at the University of Western Ontario. She completed her Doctorate in Exercise Science, her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science (Specialized Honours) in Kinesiology and Health Science at York University.
She is a Certified Exercise Physiologist with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology as well as a Master Instructor/Examiner. Her passion to help older adults stay active has led to several partnerships including the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres and Lakeridge Health Oshawa.
Industry Expertise (7)
Health and Wellness
Leisure / Recreation
Sport - Amateur
Sport - Professional
Areas of Expertise (7)
Asthma in Adults
Exercise-Induced Asthma in Adults
Sedentary Behaviour in Older Adults
Physical Activity for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
Certified Exercise Physiologist (professional)
Accredited by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Dr. Dogra has also been a Certified Exercise Physiologist Instructor and Examiner since 2010, and a Certified Personal Trainer Master Instructor and Examiner since 2013.
Chair, Certified Exercise Psychologist Committee (professional)
Within the Canadian Society for Exercise Psychology, Dr. Dogra also serves as a member of its Professional Standards Committee.
York University: PhD, Exercise Science 2010
York University: MSc, Kinesiology and Health Science 2006
York University: BSc, Specialized Honours Kinesiology and Health Science 2004
Deans Honour Roll
- Canadian College for Exercise Physiology
- American College of Sports Medicine
Media Appearances (5)
UOIT Kinesiology students conduct fitness tests on Oshawa Generals candidates
UOIT News online
Sixty young athletes vying for a spot on the Oshawa Generals hockey team recently pushed their athletic abilities to the limits through a series of tests conducted by University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) students at the university’s Athletics Centre.
Dr. Shilpa Dogra, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), led a group of fourth-year undergraduate and graduate Kinesiology students who assessed a range of fitness measures including anaerobic fitness, strength, body composition and more.
UOIT researcher and students run fitness programs for older adults
UOIT News online
Several local seniors recently benefited from programs geared towards increasing their functional fitness, thanks to the efforts of a University of Ontario Institute of Technology faculty member and her undergraduate and graduate students.
Dr. Shilpa Dogra, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences (Kinesiology) conducts research in the area of physical activity for chronic disease prevention and management, with an emphasis on active aging. She and several undergraduate and graduate Kinesiology students developed two programs that were offered at the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre.
Fitness pays off in health for adult Canadians
CBC News online
The fittest Canadian adults are the healthiest in many ways, Statistics Canada has found amid declining physical activity levels and expanding waistlines.
I tried quitting but I can’t stop sitting
The Globe and Mail print
Two hours of continuous sitting – that’s a movie or a long meeting – increases one’s risk of developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, low back pain, and shoulder and neck pain, says Shilpa Dogra, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ont.
Exercise might aid asthma control: study
Adults whose asthma is not fully controlled by medication might gain some benefits from adding an exercise routine to their lives, a small study suggests.
While exercise can trigger asthma symptoms in some people, there is also evidence that physically active asthmatics tend to have better overall asthma control than their sedentary counterparts. But whether that signals a benefit of exercise, per se, has been unclear.
Event Appearances (8)
Sedentary Behaviour Consensus Statement for Older Men and Women: Development and Results
Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS 2016) Waterloo, Ontario
Factors Influencing Sedentary Behaviour in Older Adults: An Ecological Approach
SCAPPS 2016 Waterloo, Ontario
Self-Reported Sedentary Time Among Masters and Recreational Athletes Aged 55 years and Older
SCAPPS 2016 Waterloo, Ontario
Physical Activity and Mental Health in University Students: A Systematic Review
Ontario Shores’ 5th Annual Research Day Whitby, Ontario
Investigating the Feasibility of a 9-week Community-Based Exercise Program for Persons with Stroke, and a 9-week Support Program for their Caregivers
2015 Canadian Stroke Congress Toronto, Ontario
U-SMART. Correlates of Mental Health in Students Aged 15-24 years by Gender
SCAPPS 2014 London, Ontario
Different Types of Sedentary Activities and their association with Perceived Health and Wellness among Middle-Aged and Older Adults
SCAPPS 2014 London, Ontario
Differences in Functional Fitness and Adherence between Chinese and Non-Chinese Older Adults Participating in a Tai Chi Intervention
SCAPPS 2012 Halifax, Nova Scotia
Research Grants (3)
Examining Constraints to Sport Participation Among Ethnically Diverse Female Adolescents from Durham Region, Ontario
SSHRC Sport Participation Research Initiative $81142
This research aims to increase sport participation among adolescent girls, particularly those of ethnic minorities. Sport is associated with better long-term adherence than general exercise or physical activity. Creating an evidence-based program that incorporates the needs of adolescent ethnic minority goals is important to ensure engagement.
Management of Exercise-Induced Asthma in Special Olympics Athletes
Special Olympics Canada $5000
As primary investigator of this research, Dr. Dogra examines the prevalence of asthma among Special Olympics athletes to determine whether coaches need specific education programs to help manage and improve this group’s performance.
Fostering an International Collaborative on Sedentary Behaviour Research in Older Men and Women
Canadian Institute of Health Research (Institute of Gender and Health), Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging $28500
As primary investigator of this research, Dr. Dogra investigates the effects of reduced sedentary time on older adults, including the effects of sedentary behaviour on respiratory health and lung function. She aims to develop an international consensus statement to improve their health outcomes. In particular, she is examining the effects of sedentary behaviour on respiratory health, including lung function.
HLSC 3481U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course
Exercise Rehabilitation I: Cardiac, Respiratory and Metabolic Conditions
HLSC 4412U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course
Kinesiology Internship I
HLSC 4490U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course
Research Applications I
HLSC 4996U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course
Research Applications II
HLSC 4997U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course
Regular physical activity is associated with better asthma control; however, little is known of the determinants of physical activity in a population of adults with asthma. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify important sociodemographic, health and lifestyle correlates of physical activity among adults with asthma.
The purpose of this research is to assess the association between a variety of sedentary activities and self-reported wellness outcomes to provide a comprehensive perspective for future development of sedentary guidelines for middle-aged and older adults.
This research aims to better understand the perceptions of sedentary behavior, its pros and cons, and the barriers associated with reducing sedentary time as it pertains to older adults.
The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of multimodal care for the management of soft tissue injuries of the shoulder.
The aim of this study was to examine objectively measured total and self-reported leisure sedentary time among older Canadians by work status.
The aim of this study was to compare the central and peripheral components of cardiorespiratory fitness during incremental to maximal exercise between older men who were either recreational athletes (RA) or leisurely active (LA) men, i.e., those who fall between trained and untrained.
The aim of this paper was to examine the independent influence of cardiorespiratory fitness and sedentary behavior on chronic disease incidence and body composition in older adults.
The purpose of this analysis was to 1) determine the association between asthma and physical activity levels or sedentary time among Aboriginal adults, and 2) understand the influence of physical inactivity and sedentary time on health care use among Aboriginal adults with asthma.
The purpose of the current study was to determine whether aging expectations (AE) are associated with physical activity participation and health among older adults of low socioeconomic status (SES).
The rate of adjustment for pulmonary oxygen uptake (τV̇O2p) is slower in untrained and in older adults. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has shed light on potential mechanisms underlying this in young men and women and in older men; however, there is no such data available in older women. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of slower τV̇O2p in older women who were either endurance-trained or untrained.
Global asthma control levels are suboptimal. The influence of regular exercise on asthma control is unclear. We assessed the effects of a 12-week supervised exercise intervention followed by 12 weeks of self-administered exercise on adults with partially controlled asthma (n = 21) and matched controls (n = 15). Assessments were conducted at baseline and week 12 for both the exercise and control group, and again at week 24 for the exercise group.
Health care use in patients with asthma is affected by many factors, including sex and ethnicity. The role of physical activity (PA) and body mass index (BMI) (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) in this relationship is unknown. This research aims to determine the role of PA and BMI in the health care use of patients with asthma.