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Iris Lesser

Dr. Iris Lesser


Assistant Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences, Kinesiology

Chilliwack campus at CEP, A3440

Phone: 604-504-7441 ext. 2254

email Iris

Iris is a new faculty member at UFV who has an interest in physical activity and chronic disease, and in mental health. She is currently engaging students in a research project involved in mixing the benefits of exposure to nature and exercise by combining hiking with some measures of mental well-being.


BSc. Kinesiology Honours, Dalhousie University
MSc. Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta
PhD Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University


Certified Exercise Physiologist (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology)

Teaching Interests

Physical Activity and Health, Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Testing and Prescription

Research Interests

Evidence based physical activity promotion, Culturally adapted physical activity programming, Effectiveness of community based programming on the health of cancer survivors


Guest speaker, University of Winnipeg, Exercise is Medicine, April 2017

Lesser IA, Yew A, Lear S. Change in physical activity is associated with change in visceral adipose tissue: a 5 year longitudinal study. 2013. Can J Cardiol, 29 (10): S318. Oral Presentation.

Lesser IA, Lear S, Lockhart C, Madden K. Aerobic exercise does not significantly alter body composition in a high risk older adult population. 2013 Can J. Diabetes 37: S228. Oral Presentation.

Lesser IA, T Dick, D Gasevic, S Lear. The associations between physical activity intensity and liver fat: a five year follow up in a multiethnic cohort. 2012. Can J. Cardiol, 28 (5): S173. Oral Presentation.

Lesser IA, Taylor D, Gasevic D and Lear SA. The associations between physical activity intensity and liver fat: a five year follow up in a primary prevention multi-ethnic cohort. 2012. Can. J. Cardiol. 28(5): S173-4. Oral Presentation.


Lesser IA, Prystupa J, Belander L, Thomson S, Nienhuis CP. A mixed-methods evaluation of a group based trail walking program to reduce anxiety in cancer survivors.Applied Cancer Research 40 (1), 1-10

Lesser AI, Nienhuis CP, Belanger L. Active by nature: exploring cancer survivors’ exercise barriers, facilitators, preferences, and psychosocial benefits of engaging in outdoor physical activity. Supportive Care in Cancer, 1-9

Hatfield GL, Lesser IA. Does body size impact muscle recruitment during law enforcement physical control simulator use? Ergonomics 63 (12), 1551-1560

Lesser IA, Nienhuis CP. The impact of COVID-19 on physical activity behavior and well-being of Canadians. International journal of environmental research and public health 17 (11), 3899

Nienhuis CP, Lesser IA. The Impact of COVID-19 on Women’s Physical Activity Behavior and Mental Well-Being. International journal of environmental research and public health 17 (23), 9036

Lesser IA, Fritz JA, Belanger L. The evaluation of a health-based education and behavioral change retreat on quality of life, physical activity and psychosocial health in adult cancer survivors: an exploratory analysis. J. Cancer Educ. 2020. Feb. 4.

Lesser I, McGowan E, Belanger L. Letter to the Editor: The development of knights cabin cancer retreats: a community program to engage cancer survivors’ proactive health behaviors. Appl Cancer Res. 39, 14 (2019)

Lesser IA, Fokowan A, Punthakee Z, and Lear SA. Associations between physical fitness and anthropometric and body composition measures in South Asian schoolchildren. J. of Physical Activity Res. 2(1), 2017.

Fowokan A, Lesser IA, Humphries KH, Mancini JBG, Lear SA. The predictive relationship between baseline insulin and glucose with subclinical atherosclerosis after 5 years in a multi-ethnic cohort. Atherosclerosis 257: 146-51, 2017.

Lesser IA, Hoogbruin A, Singer J, Mackey DC, Guenette JA, Gasevic DC and Lear SA. Association between exercise-induced change in body composition and change in cardio-metabolic risk factors in post-menopausal South Asian women. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab.  41 (9):931-7, 2016.  

Lesser IA, Singer J, Hoogbruin AH, Mackey DC, Katzmarzyk PT, Sohal P, Leipsic J and Lear SA. Effectiveness of Exercise on Visceral Adipose Tissue in Older South Asian Women. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2016, 48 (7), 1371-8.

Devin P, Lesser IA, Stickland M, Petersen S. The effects of heavy load carriage on physiological responses to graded exercise. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 116 (2): 275-280, 2016.

Lesser IA, Dick T, Guenette JA, Hoogbruin A, Mackey DC and Lear SA. Cardiorespiratory fitness and visceral adipose tissue in South Asian women. Preventive Medicine Reports. Sept (2): 783-7, 2015.

Lesser IA, Hodges ANH. The effects of a delay following warm up on the heart rate response to sudden strenuous exercise. Br. J. Medicine and Medical Research. 8 (9): 765-771, 2015.

Lesser IA, Dick T, Gasevic D, Mackey D, Leipsic J and Lear SA. The association between physical activity and liver fat after five years of follow-up in a primary prevention multi-ethnic cohort. Preventive Medicine. 67:199-203, 2014.

Gasevic D, Mancini J, Lesser IA, Cefam A and Lear SA. The association between “hypertriglyceridemic waist” and sub-clinical atherosclerosis in a multi-ethnic population. Lipids in Health and Disease. 13 (38), 2014.

Lesser IA, Gasevic D and Lear SA. The association between acculturation and dietary patterns of South Asian immigrants. PLoS-ONE. 9 (2) e88495, 2014 

Lesser IA, Farias-Godoy A, Isserow S, Myers J and Lear SA. CHAICE: Characterization of Highly Active Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease. Eur. J. Sport Science, 2014.

Lesser IA, Gasevic D and Lear SA. Differences in body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors between males and females of Chinese and European origin and the role of visceral adipose tissue. Appl.Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 38(7):701-6, 2012.

Dick TJ, Lesser IA, Leipsic JA, Mancini GB, Lear SA. The effect of obesity on the atherosclerosis between liver fat and carotid atherosclerosis in a multi-ethnic cohort. Atherosclerosis. 226(1):208-13, 2013.

Lesser IA, Yew AC, Mackey DC and Lear SA. A cross-sectional analysis of the association between physical activity and visceral adipose tissue fat accumulation in a multi-ethnic cohort.  J. Obesity. 2012.

Scott A. Lear and Iris A. Lesser. A review of obesity and body fat distribution and its relationship to cardio-metabolic risk in men and women of Chinese origin. Cardiovasc. Hematol. Disord. Drug Targets. 12(2):113-8, 2012.


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The kinesiology program has not only exposed me to the theory, but has equipped me with a vast amount of practical knowledge, applications, and tools to use in the future. This program has led me to pursue a career in medicine where I can have a positive impact on other and help them live a healthy life.

  • – P.J. Retief
  •    Kinesiology (Class of 2017)

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