Senlin Chen

Helen "Bessie" Silverberg Pliner Associate Professor

Bachelor's Degree(s): Physical Education, Beijing Normal University, 2005

Master's Degree: Physical Education, Beijing Normal University, 2007

PhD: Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2011

Phone: 225-578-7995

Fax: 225-578-3680


Office: 175C Huey P. Long Field House



Senlin Chen, PhD, is a Helen “Bessie” Silverberg Pliner associate professor in the School of Kinesiology. Prior to LSU, he was an assistant professor for six years (2011-2017) in the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Chen’s research is focused on physical education curriculum intervention, youth physical activity and fitness promotion, motivation and learning in physical activity. Dr. Chen’s research is well-funded by various extramural and intramural entities. For example, he is the principal investigator of a recently funded NIH R21 grant (2017-2019; $427,440) focused on developing and evaluating a childhood obesity prevention program called SWITCH (School Wellness Integration for Child Health) in middle schools. He also has been involved as an investigator in a USDA grant (2014-2018; $2.86 million) that examines the dissemination and implementation of SWITCH in elementary schools. Dr. Chen’s research is published in a variety of high impact research journals and disseminated in numerous scholarly conferences. As a Fellow of the Research Council of Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America), he was the recipient of the 2016 Young Scholar Award from Western Society for Kinesiology and Wellness (WSKW) and the 2016 Early Career Research Excellence Award from the International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health (ICSPAH) among other awards. Dr. Chen is a guest editor of Biomedical Research International, an editorial board member of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, and an ad hoc reviewer of a dozen scholarly peer-review journals and conferences. Dr. Chen is dedicated to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students to reach excellence in research and classroom. His former students were recipients of national awards and funded grants. Outside work, Dr. Chen enjoys performing a variety of physical activities (e.g., weightlifting, golf, disc golf, geocaching, triathlon, CrossFit, yardwork).

Selected Publications

Chen, S., Liu, Y., & Schaben, J. (2017). To move more and sit less: Does physical activity/fitness knowledge matter? Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 36, 142-151.

Chen, S., & Nam, Y. (2017). Energy balance education in schools: The role of student knowledge. European Physical Education Review, 23(2), 157-170.

Chen, S., Zhu, X., & Kang, M. (2017). Development and validation of an energy-balance knowledge test for fourth and fifth grade students. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(10), 1004-1011.

Gao, Z., Chen, S., Huang, C., Stodden, D., & Xiang, P. (2017). Investigating elementary school children's daily physical activity and sedentary behaviors during weekdays. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(1), 99-104.

Hastie, P., Chen, S. (2017). Health-related fitness knowledge development through project-based learning. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 36, 119-125.

Leonetti, M, Zhu, X., & Chen, S. (2017). Improving students’ knowledge and values through physical best lessons. European Physical Education Review, 23(2), 223-236.

Zhu, X., & Chen, S. (2017). Effect of cognitive demand on situational interest and running task performances in physical education. Educational Psychology, 37(7), 907-920.

Selected Presentations

Chen, S. (2017). School-based physical activity promotion: A borrowed lens. Invited keynote presentation delivered at the 6th Peking University Advanced Forum of Physical Education and Humanities. Beijing, China.

Chen, S., Welk, G., Lee, J., Wolff, M., & Liu, Y. (2017). Learning energy balance knowledge in SWITCH Physical Education lessons. Paper presented at the 2017 SHAPE America national convention, Boston, MA.

Chen, S., Welk, G., Vazou, S., Lanningham-Foster, L., Gentile, D. A., Lee, J., Wolff, M., Dzewaltowski, D., & Rosenkranz, R. (2017). Description and evaluation of CSPAP training modules in the Switch. Paper presented at the 2017 SHAPE America national convention, Boston, MA.

Chen, S. (2016). The effects of a concept-based physical education unit for energy balance education. Paper presented at the 2016 61st Western Society for Kinesiology and Wellness annual conference, Reno, Nevada.

Chen, S. (2016). The process and outcome of learning energy balance knowledge in a physical education unit. Paper presented at the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Chen, S., Bai, Y., Liu, Y., Schaben, J., Vazou, S., Welk, G., & Hong, D. (2016). Trend analysis of youth physical activity, sedentary behavior, and motivation. Paper presented at the 2016 ICSPAH annual forum, Minneapolis, MN.

Chen, S., Nam, Y, Lukowski, R., & Androzzi, J. (2016). Energy balance education in physical education: The Switch PE. Paper presented at the 2016 SHAPE America National Convention, Minneapolis, MN.