About Us

The Centre for Health Behaviour Change, directed by Dr. Mary Jung, was founded in 2019 with a generous Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to equip and build our 3,400 sq. foot home at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan’s Upper Campus Health building. The centre brings together three pre-existing labs at UBC: Dr. Mary Jung’s Diabetes Prevention Research Group, Dr. Heather Gainforth’s Applied Behaviour Change lab, and Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis’ Spinal Cord Injury Action Canada lab.

Our Values

Our vision is to establish the Centre for Health Behaviour Change as the pre-eminent site for community-engaged, theory-based behaviour change research to promote health and well-being among persons living with chronic disease or disability. A defining feature of the Centre is a fundamental commitment to knowledge translation (KT), and ongoing engagement with stakeholders (e.g., community members, service organizations, clinicians, policy makers) in the research and KT processes.

Our mission is to improve the lives of people living with chronic conditions through research that applies the science of behaviour change. Our team is guided by a fundamental commitment to knowledge translation and the ongoing and meaningful engagement of research users throughout the entire research process. Our research approach is driven by partnership between scientists and stakeholders, with partnership being at the heart of all of our research activities.

  1. To design, implement, and evaluate exercise, diet, mental health and well-being, and smoking behaviour change interventions.
  2. To develop quality, evidence-based methods for community-engaged, integrated knowledge translation research across populations.
  3. To work with stakeholders to:
    • Translate our interventions, knowledge products and tools
    • Evaluate the uptake and implementation of these products in the real world

Our Space

Our state-of-the-art space includes seven accessible research suites, including:

  1. Exercise Training Suite is outfitted with aerobic exercise and hydraulic resistance training equipment, as well as free weights for individuals living with chronic disease and/or mobility disabilities. This 1,200 sq. ft. space also includes built in AV technology, registration/staff monitoring space, discrete anthropometric assessment station, and ample free space in which to conduct exercise not requiring equipment. This space is optimally designed for exercise training studies.
  2. Fitness Testing Suite is outfitted with Lode wall-mounted arm ergometer, Lode Excalibur sport testing bike, and ParvoMedic metabolic cart, permitting gold-standard, research grade fitness testing for individuals with diverse chronic conditions.
  3. Experimental Behaviour Kitchen has been specifically designed and outfitted, with all the speciality kitchen tools and appliances you would find in an accessible home, to be accessible for people with physical disabilities and individuals living with chronic disease, as well as children. The space permits the testing of nutritional interventions, dietary experiments, and creation of knowledge translation outputs, such as cooking video demonstrations.
  4. Community Engagement Suite is our professional meeting space, outfitted with LifeSize video conferencing software, allowing for our partners to be ‘at the table’ whether they are on campus or around the world.
  5. Behaviour Change Counselling Suite provides space to deliver one-on-one or small group based behaviour change counselling sessions. This space was specifically designed to connect to a private waiting room with direct and discreet building entrance separate from the rest of the Centre, permitting researcher-participant blinding for screening and psychological testing. Eye tracking cameras, desktop, and observation audiovisual equipment complete this room.
  6. Video Analysis Suite is outfitted with one Noldus Stationary Recording Lab and one Noldus Portable Recording Lab. These items allow our team to observe, record and analyze behaviour change interventions and interactions unobtrusively. Recording equipment is integrated into all intervention suites (i.e. kitchen, counselling, exercise suite, community engagement) and portable labs can record behaviour change interactions in real-world settings off campus.
  7. Highly Qualified Personnel Suites provide space for over 20 Research Coordinators, Postdoctoral Researchers, PhD Students, Masters Students, and Undergraduate Students.

Our Research

Our research programmes have been highlighted several times by the UBC Okangan media team. To find out more, visit our Featured Projects page.