Iana Nakhimova is a Wisconsin Russia Project 2021-2022 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Iana hails from Russia, she earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Ural Federal University.
Her research focuses on the connection between health behavior and the social environment in Russia by analyzing a range of data sources such as documents, photographs, statistics, surveys, expert interviews, and focus groups. Previously, she has examined anti-drug policies of different countries and compared the social attitudes of youth groups with and without experience using drugs.
At UW-Madison, Nakhimova is developing her project, “Physical activity among young adults in Russia,” a timely study, given the global health emergency in the last year and a half. In addition, Nakhimova looks forward to exchanging ideas with other scholars and learning to carry out sociological research using the field’s latest methodological and analytical approaches.
In addition to her scholarship, Nakhimova is also the founder of an innovative fitness school with a holistic approach to keeping healthy and developing skills, Body Mind, and has a patent on its wellness program.
Physical activity among young adults in Russia, 1996-2020: Predictors and Policy Impact
We (Nakhimova, Gerber) examine an important aspect of population health: physical exercise. According to the World Health Organization, physical activity levels remain critically low in many countries. Russia is a particularly interesting case from a comparative perspective, because, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country faced a mortality crisis among middle-aged people.Low levels of exercise in the population may have contributed to this crisis.Although health indicators fluctuated in the post-Soviet era, participation in physical exercise persisted at a low level over time, despite efforts of the Russian government to improve fitness.We analyze data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, to address several broad questions: 1) What are the trends in physical exercise among Russian young adults from 1996 to 2020? 2) How does participation in exercise vary by demographic traits, socio-economic characteristics, and other health-related behaviors? 3) Did the Russian government’s campaign to improve the level of fitness of the population have an impact? Our analyses bring Russia, a previously neglected country, into the literature on predictors of physical exercise. Better understanding of why people do or do not exercise can contribute to the planning of public health interventions that might produce better health outcomes for the world’s population.