Active Research Studies

The Foundation is dedicated to advancing research towards a comprehensive scientific understanding of connections between exercise and mental health. The goal of the Foundation is to learn more about how exercise, diet, relationships, and health care fit together to benefit mental health, and openly share that knowledge with research participants and the public.

The Foundation has initiated a program of studies for that purpose, and the dissemination and application of results. To accomplish the goal and to over time continue to benefit you as a participant and society in general, the philosophy of the Foundation is to listen to your inputs and suggestions, and to conduct research studies in an open and transparent way. The Foundation has a web Portal that will be the hub for research participation, collaboration, and sharing of what is learned.

Ongoing Opinion Survey

Mental health is a broad area, ranging from the ups and downs we all experience, to common problems such as anxiety and depression, and less common but severe diseases such as autism, schizophrenia, and dementia. The Foundation’s program of research is intended to help all of us learn how to lead healthier, more productive, and happier lives, for ourselves, our families, and friends.

We want to know your opinions about the Foundation and what specific mental health topics you think are most important. For this purpose, we have created a short web survey.

It will take you a minute or two to open your personal account in the Portal, but once you do, it will be easy to use. Please join us in our quest to scientifically develop this knowledge. Click the button below to go to the Foundation Portal now, open your account, and take the opinion survey (five questions).

Baseline and Longitudinal Study

Exercise, diet, relationships, health care, and multiple other factors are associated with variation in behavioral and mental health, but comprehensive scientific understanding is lacking. For example, little is known about what patterns and doses of exercise are most beneficial to anxiety disorders.

This project has three main aims: 1) to establish the Foundation's web-based health science platform and research portal for a participant-centered program of collaborative research on exercise and mental health; 2) to examine multi-variate cross-sectional and longitudinal patterns in self-report data on depression, anxiety, stress, eating, substance use, social relationships, health care, and in a subsample, body composition and physical activity accelerometer data; and 3) to communicate results to participants and the general public.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maryland Study

The objective of this pilot study is to advance knowledge about how exercise may improve the mental and physical health of people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI). It is well known that people with SMI, in addition to their primary mental disorder, e.g., schizophrenia, suffer from anxiety and depression. It is also well-established that people with SMI have a dramatically shorter life-span from physical problems such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

Exercise is one of the fundamental ways in which to improve health, and there is evidence that it provides both mental and physical benefits. However, it is difficult to get people with SMI to exercise regularly. This study will measure anxiety, depressed mood, exercise, and weight over a 6-month period to statistically determine how these are related in participants with SMI. The study will also report on participation and the feasibility of the exercise program in this population, with a goal of creating new knowledge about the benefits of exercise in patients with SMI, and to establish a basis for a larger more comprehensive study.

Omega-3 Study

Study Objective: The objective of this study is to determine whether patient EPA and DHA status in whole blood is related to their health status, the incidence and severity of chronic illnesses and as a surrogate, the health care costs over the previous 3 years. A weakness of many studies is their inability to statistically account for potential covariates Therefore, exercise, diet, quality of relationships, health care, and multiple other factors will be assessed using an on line questionnaire that has been developed by the Foundation.