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Research stories

Virtual reality motion sickness may be predicted and counteracted

Research participant wears virtual reality headset in lab.Waterloo researchers advance knowledge of sensorimotor components of cybersickness.

Lingering effects of wildfires

Wildfire in forest.Waterloo researcher finds experiences of evacuation and isolation have long-term effects on mental wellbeing.

Study shows how the brain controls food cravings

Illustration representing active colourful areas of brain.When activity in a specific part is suppressed, the desire for high-calorie food increases.

Majority of teenagers need food safety education

Young person preparing food.Researchers find that the ‘next generation’ of food handlers has a low level of awareness of proper precautions.

Dieting associated with risky behaviours in teenage girls

Cigarettes on a dinner plate being cut with knife and fork.Study finds those who diet are more likely to engage in other health-compromising behaviours.

"Smart clothing" aims to predict failing health

Tablet showing heart rate and respiration stats on table with stethoscope.Researchers combine wearable technology and AI to predict the onset of health problems.

Young hockey players interested in healthy protein, not French fries

Close up of hockey player taking a slap shot.Waterloo study finds greasy food being served isn't what young players want.

Standing desks may lead to lower back pain

Person typing at a standing desk.Waterloo study finds people have different levels of standing tolerance.

Mandatory nutrition policies may impact sugar consumption

Pouring sugar from a soda can.Study investigates adolescents' purchase and intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.

Obesity could be linked to early childhood behaviour

Baby's feet on weigh scale displaying 86 pounds.Unhealthy behaviours among youth could be greatest predictors of issues in adulthood.

Aging slows perception of falls

Older person's hand gripping a walker.Seniors need twice as long as young adults to realize they are falling.

Vaping linked to cigarette use

Teen vaping in car.Teenagers who try e-cigarettes double their risk for smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Beverage industry capitalizing on countries with fewer health regulations

Beverage vending machineHigh school students in Guatemala consume twice as many soft drinks as their Canadian peers.

Yoga and meditation improve brain function and energy levels

Person holding yoga pose on mat.Waterloo study finds practising just 25 minutes per day can boost the brain’s executive functions.

Chronic illness and mental health

Teen holding head in hands.Waterloo study finds young people with chronic illness more likely to attempt suicide.

Urban imagineering brings public spaces to life

Colourful piano in street.When vacant public spaces across the region turn into vibrant hubs of activity this summer, a new website built at Waterloo is ready to track all the action.

Powered stretchers could reduce injuries, keep paramedics on the job

Students lifting stretcher in lab.Moving from manual to powered stretchers could reduce the number of injuries to paramedics by 78 per cent, a University of Waterloo study has found.

Waterloo software improves care for kidney patients

Doctor typing on laptopA new software system is improving patient care and setting the gold-standard in data reporting at Grand River Hospital. One day, it may help patients choose what kind of treatment to receive.

Added sugar found in two-thirds of packaged foods

Grocery cart in shopping aisle.Study finds even baby food and products marketed as healthy alternatives often contain added sugar.

Kinesiology brings research to life at Ontario Science Centre

Biomechanics exhibit poster.Biomechanics: The Machine Inside exhibit gives visitors a hands-on look at the marvels of natural engineering that drive human and animal movement.

Parkinson's patients are over-prescribed antipsychotics

Prescription pad and medications.More than one-third of people with Parkinson's disease in long-term care homes are given antipsychotic medication. 

What if a simple supplement could prevent childhood asthma?

Ken Stark pipetting blood sample in lab.Findings offer insight into preventative measures.

Can two countries host the Olympics Games together?

Aerial view of Rio's Olympic stadium.New regulations will allow multiple cities to share a single bid, but Waterloo research suggests cities will have to find new ways to rally support.

Researcher wins prestigious prize for work on osteoporosis

Lora Giangregorio.Professor Lora Giangregorio wins Bloomberg Manulife Prize for Promotion of Active Health.

What's the secret behind Jordan Kilganon's epic slam dunks?

Jordan Kilganon making a dunk shot.Kinesiology researcher examines Kilganon in a Waterloo lab to understand how the world’s best slam dunker gets outstanding air.

New anonymous online survey aims to protect athletes from doping

Various drugs.

Assessment tool will help coaches and administrators identify gaps in understanding of policies on everything from hazing to harassment and doping.

Canadian magazines miss the mark on skin cancer messages

Woman sunbathing and reading magazine.Study shows Canadian magazines are sending women mixed messages about skin cancer and tanning.

National Coming Out Day: Being out affects LGBT retirement plans

Rainbow flag.

LGBT adults who are out to family and friends are less uncertain about their retirement years.

Daily physical activity policy not working in schools

Children in gym class.Many elementary school students aren’t getting the 20 minutes of daily physical activity mandated by the Ontario government.

Canada’s mental health system is failing children in crisis

Child wearing hoodie walks alone into wilderness.The “orphan’s orphan” of Canada’s health-care system: Children at risk of suicide are ending up in adult psychiatric units.

Try the Track project brings cycling to recreational athletes

Luke Potwarka at velodrome cycling track.Milton's new velodrome could be a boon to track cycling long after the Pan Am Games are over, says Waterloo researcher.

Restraint and confinement still an everyday practice in mental health settings

John HirdesSpecial issue of Healthcare Management Forum features eight new papers on interRAI mental health assessment system.

Can science keep MLB pitchers off the disabled list?

baseball pitcherBiomechanical assessments and strength training more effective than restricting innings.

How long should you stand - rather than sit - at your work station?

Jack Callaghan prepping a study particpant at standing workstation.Research suggests that you have to stand for at least 30 minutes every hour to get health benefits.

Propel research shows more Canadian teens smoking hookah

man blowing smokeOne in four high school seniors are trying tobacco water pipes known as hookah.

At what cost? The forgotten needs of young carers

Young woman walks with senior womanMAREP study finds children and youth who help care for family members with special needs have few places to turn for support.

Waterloo student designs new clay filter for unsafe drinking water

Timothy Muttoo holds the clay water filter he designedMaster of Public Health student is working with a non-profit group in the Dominican Republic to bring filters to thousands of families.

Is your neighbour’s smoking addiction killing you?

Woman on apartment balconey smokes cigaretteResearch shows tobacco smoke can seep through cracks and walls and travel through ventilation systems, exposing you to dangerous toxins and carcinogens.

New play challenges dementia stereotypes

An original oil painting by Cracked researcher Gail Mitchell portrays lyrics from Leonard’s Cohen’s song, Anthem.Theatre group works with Waterloo researcher to change the way families and health care practitioners think about dementia.

Technophobia may keep older adults from using apps to manage diabetes

Close-up of senoir's hands holding a smartphone.More senior-friendly smartphone and web apps may help people manage glucose levels and track their diet.

Each dollar spent on kids' nutrition can yield more than $100 later

Children shopping in a marketGood childhood nutrition produces people who can contribute more and help boost economic growth, says Waterloo professor.

Curling helps fight seasonal depression for rural women

Female curler releases rock down the ice.Research shows curling clubs enhance women’s physical, mental and emotional health during long Canadian winters.

Research shows Parkinson’s disease linked to riskier driving

Older man driving a carWhen it comes to road safety, Parkinson’s disease is a bigger threat than once thought.

Crunched for time? Commuting linked to lower life satisfaction

Margo HilbrechtNew study examines connection between commute time and well-being.

Sacred waters run deep

Thelon River winds through green banks covered in evergreens.Researchers are collaborating with Aboriginal communities to cultivate enhanced understanding of relationships to one of Canada's longest rivers.

Craving high-calorie snacks? Blame your brain

Woman eyeing up a cupcakeResearch shows that we rely on a specific part of the brain to curb our craving for snacks.

Low back pain? Waterloo research reveals best sex positions

Stuart McGillPioneering spine study shows spooning is not always the best sex position for men who want to avoid triggering low back pain.

Do low-nicotine cigarettes make you smoke more?

Low nicotine cigarettes scattered on tableLandmark study shows people smoke the same number of cigarettes regardless of nicotine level.

Nutrition and aging: Why aren't older adults eating well?

Heather KellerResearcher leads study to find out why residents of long-term care homes aren’t getting proper nutrition.

GPS technology may help detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier

Eric RoyGPS tracking shows older adults with mild dementia stay much closer to home than healthy adults, Waterloo study finds.

Osteoporosis: How can you prevent falls and fractures?

Lora GiangregorioOlder adults should combine aerobics with strength and balance training to prevent bone loss, says Waterloo researcher who helped draft new guidelines.

50 Shades of Grey is not a black and white issue for women

Women looking at laptops near a poolE-readers have liberated women who enjoy erotica but Waterloo researchers are asking: Why are e-heroes still domineering men?

Should menthol cigarettes be banned?

teenage girl smokingTeens who use menthol cigarettes smoke more than youth who smoke unflavoured cigarettes, a new Waterloo study finds.

Energy drinks linked to teen depression and drug use

Sunday AzagbaPropel study finds teens prone to depression and those who use drugs and alcohol are more likely to consume energy drinks.

Women's health: The link between estrogen and fat

Kristin MarksAward-winning researcher examines the upside of fat in our diets from pregnancy to post-menopause.

On the front lines of mental health

police officerNew screening tool developed by interRAI better connects Ontario Provincial Police and clinicians to support those in crisis.

Sports increase well-being of gay and lesbian athletes

person holding rainbow flagRecreation and Leisure Studies research finds sport groups for LGBT athletes help heal the negative effects of discrimination.

Finding your way after a stroke

Bill McillroyStroke patients use innovative exercise bikes hooked up to Google Earth’s virtual world to rehabilitate body and mind in Waterloo lab.

More than s'mores

Troy GloverSummer camp is about more than s’mores and sing-alongs. A camp counselor in his youth, professor Troy Glover always suspected that camp changes youth for the better— but now he has the data to prove it.

Biomechanics professor striking the perfect balance

Andrew LaingAndrew Laing doesn’t mind being a fall guy. For the biomechanics professor, the reputation simply comes with the territory.

Using data to treat patients right

Joon LeeJoon Lee is changing the way doctors make decisions and patients receive care. Lee and his team are at the forefront of a field that harnesses the power of information technology to analyze health data and provide doctors with answers that would take years to obtain through clinical trials.

Social networking redefining motherhood

Diana ParryMore than ever women are turning to online social networking sites as a substitute for the support and friendship they used to find in neighbours. Diana Parry investigates the impact of social networking sites on modern-day motherhood.

Nutrition and exercise linked to cancer treatment success

Marina MourtzakisWhat if something as simple as a tailored nutrition and exercise program could influence the outcome of cancer treatment? According to professor Marina Mourtzakis, it’s possible.

Does climate change affect your health?

Susan ElliottWhile researchers have flagged climate change as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, research by Professor Susan Elliott and her graduate student Francesca Cardwell found that most Canadians just don’t see the link.

Research helps boomers plan for retirement

Roger MannellThe first baby boomers hit retirement age — 65 — in 2011. Research from an innovative partnership between University of Waterloo and RBC shows retirees need to manage potential risks to health and wealth for a satisfying retirement.

Canadian astronaut takes research into orbit

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield with Richard HughsonFrom the International Space Station, astronaut Chris Hadfield will help Waterloo researcher Richard Hughson understand some of the mysteries of aging.

New website assists those with dementia and their families

""Researchers at the University of Waterloo and McMaster University are leading a project that has resulted in the creation of a new web-based resource that provides valuable information that will help navigate the journey of living with dementia.

Transforming systems for a healthy future

globe sitting on top of puzzle piecesThe School of Public Health and Health Systems is training a new generation to solve major, emerging health issues relevant to Canada and countries around the world.

Keep on moving

older female smilingThe prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia is expected to double over the next thirty years. Laura Middleton, assistant professor of kinesiology, is investigating the impact of exercise and physical activity on slowing cognitive decline.

Festival of food

chef serving foodAlthough many cities are excited about the prospect of creating, or expanding their focus to include, a culinary tourism destination, few know how to go about doing it. Stephen Smith is helping destinations around the world meld gastronomy and culture into a viable industry.

A global approach to curbing smoking

male smoker coughingTobacco is the largest preventable cause of premature death in the world. David Hammond is working with researchers, policy makers, and non-governmental associations around the world to guide and evaluate the use of graphic warning labels on tobacco products.

Rethinking retirement

Steven MockThe days of collecting your gold watch and retiring to cottage country are over, says assistant professor Steven Mock. What retirement looks like is not going to be the same as a one-time transition out of paid work. It’s going to be more complex.

A neighbourhood of good intentions

young couple walking in suburban neighbourhoodEven the most impassioned resolutions and best intentions to get physically fit often go unrealized when challenged by the pressures of daily life. Peter Hall is investigating how a neighbourhood’s built environment may influence physical activity patterns.

Women struggle with stigma of prison

professor Susan Arai in front of Grand Valley Institution signUncertain Futures: Women Leaving Prison and Re-entering Community, a report co-authored by Susan Arai, explores the importance of building relationships to bridge the chasm between women and their community.

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