Assistant Professor

Physical Education & Sports Science (PESS)

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Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
Exercise and Sport Psychology, Engagement, Motivation, Measurement, Optimal Functioning, Physical Activity Promotion, and Positive Human Development

  • Designation
    • Assistant Professor
    • Programme Leader, Higher Degree by Research
    Short Bio

    Masato has been interested in how physical activity affects physical and psychological well-being and human development. In the quest to find answers to that question, he has conducted extensive research on the optimal experience in physical activity settings. As an educator, he has been most interested in how practitioners (e.g., educators and coaches) can assist others in engaging constructively so that they can lead flourishing lives. He has used physical activity (e.g., exercise and sport) as a vehicle for fostering the principles of personal growth.

    His research outputs have been published in respectable international journals (e.g., Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Journal of Sports Sciences, Motivation and Emotion). The study by Mallett, Kawabata, Newcombe, Forero and Jackson (2007) was ranked first in the top-25 ‘hottest’ articles (most downloaded) of PSE, October-December 2007. During his candidacy for the PhD, he was awarded by The University of Queensland a postgraduate research scholarship and three research grants for his doctoral research. Furthermore, he was identified by the 1st-year UQ HMS students as an outstanding tutor for 2008.

    • PhD (University of Queensland, Australia, 2008)
    • MSc (University of Tsukuba, Japan, 1997)
    • BEd (University of Tsukuba, Japan, 1994)

  • Active aging lifestyle with healthy cognition: A pilot study for an ExCITE solution

    Co-Lead PI: Masato Kawabata

    Funding Agency: Ageing Research Institute for Society and Education (ARISE)

    Duration: 2017 - 2019

    Considering the increasing aging population and threat of dementia, research about the plasticity of the aging active brain has important public health implication (Chaddock, Voss, & Kramer, 2012). Cognitive and physical exercise done independently can enhance cognition in both cognitively normal and cognitively impaired individuals. A review of such interventions (Karr, Areshenkoff, Rast, & Garcia-Barrera, 2014) has suggested that combining both cognitive and exercise training in an intervention programme may be advantageous to increase this enhancement. This type of activity has yet to be well researched and implemented.

    Given the hotel and humid climate and community environments (e.g., sidewalks and street traffic) in Singapore, common aerobic exercises such as walking and jogging may not be the first choice for sedentary older adults in Singapore. Therefore, we propose to develop an intervention programme (ExCITE: Exercise-Cognition Integrated Training for Enhancement) that incorporates both cognitive and physical exercise components that can be easily implemented and weaved into the lifestyles of our aging population. To this end, the present proposed project aims to fill the research gap and develop a cognitive control exercise training programme, which integrates both components of cognition and physical exercise based on a new training paradigm.