Dr. Shawn Fraser

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Shawn Fraser



  • PhD 2006 Physical Education and Recreation (University of Alberta)
  • MSc 1999 Kinesiology (University of Saskatchewan)
  • BSc 1995 Mathematics (University of Regina)

Academic Appointments

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Athabasca University
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta.

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

Member of the Board of Scientific and Policy Advisors for the American Council on Science and Health. Research Advisor Committee, Alberta Centre for Active Living Research Affiliate, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

Research Interests

My research interests include understanding how stress can impact upon rehabilitation success for heart patients. For example, the period following a heart attack or diagnosis of heart disease can be stressful for people. This stress might impact upon adherence to exercise or even the success of rehabilitation. Current activities include examining cardiovascular responses to mental stress in heart patients. In the future I will examine how mental stress can influence cardiovascular responses to physical activity.

Clinical Implications

Implications of my research to date suggest that stress can have a negative impact on exercise behavior. Further, mental stress might interfere with the body’s ability to engage in exercise by increasing blood pressure and heart rate before and during exercise. These cardiovascular responses to stress can confound the results of an exercise test.

Recent Publications

Forbes, L.E., Fraser, S.N., Downs, S.M. Storey, K. et al. (in-press). Changes in Dietary and Physical Activity Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes in Alberta Youth Between 2005 and 2008. Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Lunny, C.A., Fraser, S.N., & Knopp-Sihota, J.A. (2013). Physical trauma and risk of multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Journal of the Neurological Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2013.08.011 (Open Access)

Lunny, C.A., Knopp-Sihota, J., & Fraser, S.N. (2013) Surgery and risk for multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control studies. BMC Neurology, 13, 41. doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-41 (Open Access)

Loitz,C.C., Fraser, S.N., Garcia Bengoechea, E., Berry, T.R., McGannon, K.R., & Spence, J.C. (2012). Sociodemographic Patterns of Leisure-Time Physical Activity of Men and Women in Alberta 2000 to 2011. Health & Fitness Journal of Canada. (available online)

Downs, S.M., Fraser, S.N., Storey, K.E., Forbes, L.E., Spence, J.C., Plotnikoff,,R.C. et al. (2012). Geography influences dietary intake, physical activity and weight status of adolescents. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. (available online)

Fraser, S.N. & Rodgers, W.M. (2012). The influence of stress and social support on overcoming barriers to exercise in cardiac rehabilitation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42, 1811–1829. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2012.00919.x

Storey, K.E., Kennedy,L.E.,  Fraser, S.N., Spence, J.C., Plotnikoff, R.C., Raine, K, et al. (2012). Adolescent weight status and related behavioural factors: Web-Survey of Physical Activity and Nutrition. Journal of Obesity. DOI:10.1155/2012/342386

Duncan, L.R., Hall., C.R., Fraser, S.N., Rodgers, W.M., Wilson, P.M., & Loitz, C.C. (2012). Re-examining the Dimensions of Obligatory Exercise. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science,16, 1-22

Murray, T.C., Rodgers, W.M., & Fraser, S.N. (2012).Exploring the relationship between socioeconomic status, control beliefs and exercise behaviour: A multiple mediator model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine,35, 63-73. DOI: 10.1007/s10865-011-9327-7

Fraser, S.N., & Rodgers, W.M. (2010). An examination of psychosocial correlates of exercise tolerance in cardiac rehabilitation participants. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 33,159-167.


  • SSHRC Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship


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