Dr. Elaine O’Brien, Ph.D., MAPP, is the founder of Positive Fit Lab: Lifestyle Medicine. A health/fitness/medical educator, researcher, speaker, writer, strategist, program director, and consultant, Elaine’s aim is to elevate the art and science of Somatic Learning and Positive Movement (Positive Exercise Practices: PEP) to help promote vibrant energy, radiant health, healing, learning, love, peace, and flourishing in the world. Elaine designed and implemented an award winning Dance/Fitness program for the State of New Jersey Community Alliance in 1992 to lower the risk of alcoholism and (prescription) drug abuse in senior adults that she continues to lead.
Elaine studied Psychology and Urban/Outdoor Recreation as an undergrad, earned her MAPP from University of Pennsylvania, 2008, and then a PhD in Kinesiology: The Psychology of Human Movement from Temple University, 2015. Elaine also attended University of Oslo, Positive Psychology & Social Science Summer School, 2010.
Elaine worked for 10 years as a Director for the National Aerobics Championship in its heyday. She also served as United States Coach/Trainer, as well as an Official, Presentation, Technical, and Compulsories Judge, and consultant and for the United States, Korea, Sweden, Mexico, Russia, and Costa Rica National Aerobics Championships.
Elaine has taught and led presentations for the American Psychological Association, University of Pennsylvania, most recently for Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman’s course, University of the Sciences (faculty), Temple University, CPPA, European Positive Psychology Association, IPPA, Beijing Normal University, China, University of Lisbon, Portugal, the New York Open Center CAPP program, Aquatics Exercise Association, IDEA: the Association for Fitness Professionals. She will be leading workshops at the European and Canadian Positive Psychology Conferences this year.
Elaine is an Associate Editor for the IPPA Chronicle of Well-Being in press, and a writer for the Penn MAPP Magazine.
Elaine is the proud mom of creative director/ photographer, Lianna Tarantin, and is married to Sean O’Brien
Elaine’s passions and life’s work includes:
Helping to reduce the “epidemic of inactivity” by helping people move well, more and with meaning
Boosting the role of social and community fitness to help reduce depression, and loneliness, and to uplift mental health and well-being.
To raise up positive models, examples, and exemplars of older people, especially women, aging well, vibrantly, and with positive self-determination.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Want an Energy Boost; Making Positive Psychology Work: Podcast with Elaine O’Brien and Michelle McQuaid
Redefining True Health Care: Inaugural Summit on Happiness Science in Health
O’Brien, E. (2014). Positive fitness, movement, and mindful breathing. In M. Snyder, Positive Health: Flourishing Lives, Well-Being in Doctors, (pp. 47-74). Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press.
O’Brien, E. (2016). Move2Love and Vibrancy: Community Dance/Fitness. Women & Therapy, 39(1-2), 171-185. Abstract.
International Positive Psychology Association The Chronicle of Advances in Positive Health and Well-Being.