Skip to main content
A woman with shoulder length hair wearing a black shirt, she is wearing a red lanyard with a name tag. In the background, outside the window, there are buildings.

Kelly Arbour, PhD

Bloorview Research Institute Adjunct Scientist; Assistant Professor

Dr. Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and an Advisory Member of the Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Centre at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. She is also an Adjunct Scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, the Co-Director of Knowledge Mobilization for the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability, and an Associate Editor of Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Situated within the field of exercise psychology, her research program is theory-driven, using both quantitative and qualitative methods to measure, understand, and change physical activity behaviour in children and youth experiencing disability.

Kelly began working with the Spark Lab in 2013.Her and Dr. Virginia Wright are co-founders of an inclusive community-based physical literacy program (Igniting Fitness Possibilities) that reaches out to children and youth with and without disabilities. This collaboration has resulted in over $300K in funding through tri-council (SSHRC), the University of Toronto (Connaught New Researcher Award) and several private funders (National Bank, Milos Raonic, GoodLife Kids Foundation); establishment of five community partnerships; creation of four, grade-based program curriculum manuals; a coaching manual; an online staff training module; pilot-testing of 13 IFP programs among 100 children and youth (40% with disabilities) in grades 1-12 and 38 centre staff and volunteers across the Greater Toronto and Durham regions; 5 peer-review publications;5 published abstracts, and 20 academic and 13 community presentations.

A fun fact about Kelly is that she is an avid recreational runner. She also enjoys seeking out new fun outdoor spaces to play with her two children.