James H. Rimmer, PhD

Formerly, UIC Professor of Disability and Human Development

Dr. James Rimmer is director of the Lakeshore Foundation/University of Alabama-Birmingham Research Collaborative. Until 2012, he was professor of disability and human development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For the past 25 years, Dr. Rimmer has been developing and directing health promotion programs for people with disabilities. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on various topics related to physical activity, health promotion, secondary conditions and disability. He is director of two federally funded centers, the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities.

In 2008 he was appointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was one of 13 members selected to the Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Scientific Advisory Committee, and he serves on the advisory board at the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research at NIH. Since 1997, Dr. Rimmer has been awarded over $25 million in federal funding.

Research Interests

Health promotion interventions for people with disabilities, environmental factors associated with health disparities among people with disabilities, development of exercise technologies for people with disabilities, dose-response effects of exercise on reducing secondary conditions people with disabilities

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

Rimmer JH, Wang E, Pellegrini CA, Lullo C, Gerber BS. Telehealth weight management intervention for adults with physical disabilities: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Dec;92(12):1084-94.

Gray, J., Zimmerman, J., & Rimmer, J. Built environment instruments for walkability, bikeability, and recreation: disability and universal design relevant? Disabil Health J. 2012 Apr;5(2):87-101.

Rimmer JH, Hsieh K, Graham BC, Gerber BS, Gray-Stanley JA. Barrier removal in increasing physical activity levels in obese African American women with disabilities. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 Oct;19(10):1869-76. [See abstract.]

Rimmer JH, Chen MD, McCubbin JA, Drum C, Peterson J. Exercise Intervention Research on Persons with Disabilities: What We Know and Where We Need to Go. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Mar;89(3):249-263.

Rimmer JH, Rauworth A, Wang E, Heckerling PS, Gerber BS. A randomized controlled trial to increase physical activity and reduce obesity in a predominantly African American group of women with mobility disabilities and severe obesity. Prev Med. 2009 May;48(5):473-9.

Rimmer JH, Rauworth AE, Wang EC, Nicola TL, Hill B. A preliminary study to examine the effects of aerobic and therapeutic (nonaerobic) exercise on cardiorespiratory fitness and coronary risk reduction in stroke survivors. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Mar;90(3):407-12.

Mojtahedi MC, Boblick P, Rimmer JH, Rowland JL, Jones RA, Braunschweig CL. Environmental barriers to and availability of healthy foods for people with mobility disabilities living in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Nov;89(11):2174-9.

Liang H, Tomey K, Chen D, Savar NL, Rimmer JH, Braunschweig CL. Objective measures of neighborhood environment and self-reported physical activity in spinal cord injured men. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Aug;89(8):1468-73.

Riley BB, Rimmer JH, Wang E, Schiller WJ. A conceptual framework for improving the accessibility of fitness and recreation facilities for people with disabilities. J Phys Act Health. 2008 Jan;5(1):158-68.

Rimmer JH, Wang E, Smith D. Barriers associated with exercise and community access for individuals with stroke. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2008;45(2):315-22.