Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology
Aging and Population Health Lab
Dr. Mackey is passionate about promoting mobility for older Canadians. With her team in the Aging and Population Health Lab, she is leading the way to improved mobility through asking the most relevant research questions and translating her findings into action for maximum impact on improving the lives of older adults. Her research program includes both laboratory- and community-based studies, with the overall aim of developing and implementing strategies to increase physical activity, prevent falls and injuries, and reduce physical activity-related fatigue in older adults.
What motivates your research?
Physical activity is extremely beneficial to our health and we can achieve it simply by walking, yet the number of Canadians who are attaining this basic level of activity is small. Almost 90% percent of older Canadians don't get enough physical activity to achieve a health benefit. This big gap between what we know is good for us and the action we take motivates me to contribute, to offer novel ideas and solutions to improve physical activity at the population level. Figuring out effective ways to intervene is challenging, and this is what keeps me thinking and awake at night.
What topics are you studying right now?
The main focus of my program is to improve mobility for older Canadians. By mobility I mean the ability to walk and perform daily activities, to be physically active, and to participate in society. When the physical ability and mobility of older adults begins to decline, their independence diminishes, and that can make it difficult for an older adult to continue living in their own home and to enjoy a high quality of life.
Under the umbrella of mobility, my research is focused on: 1) preventing fall-related injuries, 2) promoting physical activity, and 3) understanding and reducing the causes of fatigue during walking and other physical activities.