M. Renee Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, FAAHB

M. Renee Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, FAAHB
Robbins College Associate Dean for Research, Professor
High Res Photo

Robbins College Associate Dean for Research

Professor in Public Health

Research Area

  • Physical Activity
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Rural Active Living
  • Health Equity
  • Built Environment
  • Policy Implications

My work focuses on promoting health and health equity through an active living lens.  I work with communities using mixed methods to understand cultural context and advance approaches and policies to foster healthy and active opportunities and lifestyles for all people.  I focus much of my work partnering with underserved rural communities and families, which has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through Active Living Research and the Physical Activity Research Center (PARC), the Physical Activity Policy and Research Network Plus (PAPRN+) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Education.  As part of my expertise I co-lead the PAPRN+ Rural Workgroup and have been invited to serve on advisory panels and/or lead webinars for Voices for Healthy Kids, America Walks, the Physical Activity Research Center, and the diversity committee for the 2016 National Physical Activity Plan, to name a few.  In addition to serving in these capacities, I currently co-chair the 2019 Active Living Conference and am the Immediate Past-President for the American Academy of Health Behavior, a multidisciplinary society of health behavior scholars and researchers.

Current Courses Taught

PUBH 5001, Professional Seminars in Public Health (graduate, MPH)

PUBH 5315, Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior & Public Health (graduate, MPH)

PUBH 5360, Evaluation in Public & Community Health (graduate, MPH)

PUBH 5370, Physical Activity & Public Health (graduate, MPH, PhD)

PUBH 5V90, MPH Graduate Project/Internship (graduate, MPH)

PUBH 4333, Program Evaluation in Health Education (undergraduate, BSPH, Public Health core course)

PUBH 3320, Stress Management (undergraduate)

Select Publications

Umstattd Meyer M. R., Edwards M., Jorgenson L. E., & Moore J. B. (forthcoming, 2018). In Bornstein D., Moore J. B., Eyler A., & Maddock J. Implementing Interventions Based on Specific Populations: Rural Populations (Eds.) Physical Activity and Public Health Practice: A Guide for Effective Interventions. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Botchwey N., Floyd M. F., Pollack Porter K., Cutter C. L., Spoon C., Schmid T. L., Conway T. L., Hipp J. A., Kim A. J., Umstattd Meyer M. R., Walker A. L., Kauh T., & Sallis J. F. (2018). Policy and practice-relevant youth Physical Activity Research Center agenda. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 15(8): 626-634.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2017-0327

Umstattd Meyer M. R., Meyer A. R., Wu C., & *Bernhart J. (2018). When helping helps: Exploring health benefits of cancer survivors participating in for-cause physical activity events. BioMed Central Public Health, 18:663. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5559-6

*McClendon M. E., Umstattd Meyer M. R., Ylitalo K. R., & Sharkey J. R. (2017). Physical activity of Mexican-Heritage youth during the summer and school-year: The role of parenting strategies. Journal of Community Health, 42(6): 1102-1110. doi: 10.1007/s10900-017-0358-z

Maddock J. E., Umstattd Meyer M. R., Barry A. E., & Colwell B. (2017). The future of health behavior research and training: A modified delphi study. Health Behavior Research, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.4148/2572-1836.1005

*Walsh S. M., Umstattd Meyer M. R., Gamble A., Patterson M. S., & Moore J. B. (2017). A systematic review of rural, theory-based physical activity interventions. American Journal of Health Behavior, 41(3): 248-258. doi:10.5993/AJHB.41.3.4

Tremblay M. S., Aubert S., Barnes J. D., Saunders T. J., et al. (2017). Sedentary Behavior Research Network (SBRN) - Terminology consensus project process and outcome. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14:75, 2017. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0525-8

Umstattd Meyer M. R., Wu C., & *Walsh S. M. (2016). Theoretical antecedents of standing at work: An experience sampling approach using the theory of planned behavior. AIMS Public Health, 3(4): 682-701. Special Issue: Advances in sedentary behavior research and translation (guest editors: Biddle S. J. H. & Bennie J.). doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2016.4.682

Umstattd Meyer M. R., Moore J. B., Albidso C., Edwards M. B., Gamble A., & Baskin M. L. (2016). Rural active living: A call to action. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 22(5): E11-E20. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000333

Umstattd Meyer M. R., Perry C. K., *Sumrall J., *Patterson M., *Walsh S. M., *Clendennen S. L., Hooker S. P., Evenson K. R., Goins K. V., Heinrich K., O’Hara Tompkins N., Eyler A. A., Jones S., Tabak R., & Valko C. (2016). Physical activity-related policy and environmental strategies to prevent obesity in rural communities: A systematic review of the literature, 2002-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease, 13(E03). doi: 10.5888/pcd13.150406

Hansen A. Y., Umstattd Meyer M. R., Lenardson J. D., & Hartley D. (2015). Built environments and active living in rural and remote areas: A review of the literature. Current Obesity Reports, 4(4): 484-493.

* Umstattd Meyer M. R., Walsh S. M., Sharkey J. R., Morgan G. B., & Nalty C. C. (2014). Physical and social environmental characteristics of physical activity for Mexican-origin children: Examining differences between school year and summer perceptions. BioMed Central Public Health, 14: 958. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-958

Umstattd Meyer M. R. (2013). Combatting the obesity epidemic in rural America: A few considerations. Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, 19(6): 501-502. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182a7c813

*Umstattd Meyer M. R., Sharkey J. R., Patterson M. S., & Dean W. R. (2013). Understanding contextual barriers, supports, and opportunities for physical activity among Mexican-origin children in Texas border colonias: A descriptive study. BioMed Central Public Health, 13: 14. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-14

*Umstattd M. R., Baller S. L., Hennessy E., Hartley D., Economos C. D., Hyatt R. R., Yousefian A., & Hallam J. S. (2012). Development of the Rural Active-Living Perceived Environmental Support Scale (RALPESS). Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9(5): 724-730.

Yousefian A., Hennessy E., Umstattd M. R., Economos C. D., Hallam J. S., Hyatt R. R., & Hartley D. (2010).  Development of the Rural Active Living Assessment Tools: Measuring rural environments. Preventive Medicine, 50: S86-S92. PMID 19818362


Physical Research Activity Center - https://paresearchcenter.org/


Play Streets - https://paresearchcenter.org/project-profiles/johns-hopkins-project-profile/


The Physical Activity Policy Research Network Plus (PAPRN+) - https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/center-for-adolescent-health/academic-research/paprn/


American Academy of Health Behavior - https://aahb.org


Contact Information

Baylor University
College of Health & Human Sciences
Department of Public Health
One Bear Place #97343
Waco, TX 76798-7343

Office: Rena Marrs McLean Gym 213
Phone: 254- 710 - 4029
Fax: 254 - 710 - 3527