Samantha Harden

Assistant Professor
  • Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Dr. Harden explores factors that speed or impede the translation of evidence-based physical activity interventions into their intended practice settings (e.g. clinic, community).


There are many ways of describing bodily movement (or the lack thereof): physical activity, play, inactivity, movement, fitness, sedentary behaviors, exercise, and the list goes on.  Each term has different connotations for different people.  As a co-director in the Implementation and Systems Science Laboratory, Dr. Harden aims to integrate behavior change strategies in the systems in which people live, work, and learn.  Dr. Harden's research expertise is centered on group-based physical activity promotion programs that partner with the intended delivery system.  Examples include: 1) assisting low-income women in the prenatal period with weight management through a partnership with the Carilion Clinic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2) increasing older adults' physical activity adherance through a partnership with the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, and 3) a statewide walking and fruit and vegetable consumpution program through Virginia Cooperative Extension.