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David R. Bassett, Jr., PhD



Professor and Interim Department Head
Exercise Physiology
HPER 328


KNS 380 Physiology of Athletes: Exploring the Limits of Human Performance
KNS 493 Directed Independent Study
KNS 565 Advanced Exercise Physiology
KNS 569 Clinical Exercise Physiology
KNS 570 Cardiac Rehabilitation Practicum

David Bassett’s main research interest is the measurement of physical activity and energy expenditure in humans, especially with objective methods. He and his colleagues have studied the validity and reliability of pedometers, accelerometers, and heart rate monitors, and have developed new methods to measure physical activity in free-living people. In many of these studies, respiratory gas exchange is used to measure energy expenditure; this provides a convenient “gold standard” for comparison purposes. Bassett has used pedometers to measure walking in various populations. He and his co-workers have collected data on groups ranging from school children to sedentary, middle-aged adults to Amish farmers. They are exploring the relationships of physical activity to body weight, blood pressure, blood lipids, and other cardiovascular risk factors.  A number of their studies have shown the benefits of walking and swimming for weight control, blood pressure, and glucose tolerance.

Bassett has co-authored papers on maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) with Edward Howley.  They published a review paper on criteria for attainment of maximal oxygen uptake, and two reviews on the determinants of maximal oxygen uptake, and the role of this variable in determining performance in distance running.  In 2000, Bassett traveled to Cambridge University to access materials stored in the Churchill Archives, and wrote a historical piece on the scientific contributions of A.V. Hill, a Nobel Prize winner who did pioneering work in exercise physiology.

Bassett has collaborated with researchers in the transportation policy and planning field to publish a study on walking, cycling, and obesity rates in fifteen countries on three continents.  They reported that Europeans walked and cycled more than North Americans and Australians, and that levels of active transportation were inversely related to obesity rates in these countries. Currently, he and his colleagues are studying relationships between physical activity and obesity using state-level data within the US.


PhD University of Wisconsin, Madison Physical Education & Dance
MS Ball State University Exercise Physiology
BS Oberlin College Biology

Bassett directs the Applied Physiology Laboratory at the University of Tennessee. He has served on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) board of trustees and the science advisory board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He is a member of ACSM’s task force on ActivEarth, which promotes the benefits of active travel for health, the environment, and the economy.  He also serves on the editorial board of two journals (Journal of Applied Physiology and Journal of Physical Activity and Health).

Bassett DR. Physical Activity of Canadian and American Children: A focus on youth in Amish, Mennonite, and modern cultures. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 33(4):836-42, 2008.

Bassett DR, Pucher J, Buehler R, Thompson DL and Crouter SE.  Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia.  J Phys Act Health.  5(6):795-814, 2008.

Staudenmayer J, Pober D, Crouter S, Bassett D, Freedson P.  An artificial neural network to estimate physical activity energy expenditure and identify physical activity type from an accelerometer. J Appl Physiol 107(4): 1300-1307, 2009.

John D, Tyo B, and Bassett DR.  Comparison of four ActiGraph accelerometers during walking and running.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(2):368-374, 2010.

Crouter S, Bassett D, Kuffel E, Frongillo E and Haas J. A refined 2-regression model for the ActiGraph accelerometer.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(5):1029-1037, 2010.

Esliger DW, Tremblay MS, Copeland JL, Barnes JD, Huntington GE, and Bassett DR. Physical activity profile of Old Order Amish, Mennonite, and contemporary children.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(2):296-303, 2010.

Bassett DR, Hill JO, Peters JC, Wyatt HR, and Thompson H.  Pedometer-measured physical activity and health behaviors in United States adults.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(10): 1819-25, 2010.

Pucher J, Buehler R, Bassett DR, and Dannenberg AL.  Walking and cycling to health: a comparative analysis of city, state, and international data.  Am J Publ Health 100(10):1986-92, 2010.

Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover M, Jacobs DR, Leon AS.  2011 Compendium of physical activities: a second update of codes and MET values.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 43(8):1575-1581, 2011.

John D, Thompson DL, Raynor H, Bielak KM, Rider R, and Bassett DR.  Treadmill workstations: a worksite physical activity intervention in overweight and obese office workers.  J Phys Act Health 8(8):1034-1043, 2011.

Bassett DR.  Encouraging physical activity and health through active transportation.  Kinesiology Review 1(1):91-99, 2012.

Steeves JA, Bassett DR, Fitzhugh EC, Raynor HA, Thompson DL. Can sedentary behavior be made more active? A randomized pilot study of TV commercial stepping versus walking.  Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 9(1):95, 2012.

Kang M, Bassett DR, Tudor-Locke C, Barreira TV, Ainsworth BA.  Measurement effects of seasonal and monthly variability on pedometer-determined data. J Phys Act Health 9(3):336-43, 2012.

Bassett DR, Browning R, Conger SA, Wolff D, Flynn J.  Do centrally located, accessible, and visually appealing staircases encourage stair use? J Phys Act and Health 10(4):556-62, 2013.

Crouter SE, Horton M, Bassett DR.  Use of a 2-regression model for estimating energy expenditure in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc 44(6):1177-85, 2012.

Bassett DR.  Device-based monitoring in physical activity and public health research. Physiological Measurement 33(11):1769-83, 2012.

Dudley P, Bassett DR, Crouter SE.  Validity of a multi-sensor armband for estimating energy expenditure during eighteen different activities.  J Obes Wt Loss Ther 2012, 2:7. Article number 1000146, doi:10.4172/2165-7904.

Bassett DR, Fitzhugh EC, Heath GW, Erwin PC, Frederick GM, Wolff DL, Welch WA, Stout AB.  Estimated energy expenditures for school-based policies and active living.  Am J Prev Med 44(2):108-13, 2013.

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