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A man in a gray shirt and glasses smiles at a park.
Miki Sato, assistant professor in Recreation, Sport and Tourism

AHS Get to Know: Miki Sato, Ph.D.

Get to Know: Miki Sato, assistant professor in Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the College of Applied Health Sciences

Miki Sato joined the College of Applied Health Sciences in 2020, after six years at James Madison University. 

How would you describe your primary research interests?  

My primary line of research focuses on exploring how and why engagement in sport-related consumption activities, such as sport participation and sport spectatorship, can contribute to improved health, health-related behaviors, and overall well-being. 

I have conducted research in various sport settings, including participatory sport events (e.g., running events, walking events), fitness clubs, spectator sport events, and the Olympic Games.

What are you working on right now?

I am involved in research projects that examine the health benefits of sport participation and park and recreational facility availability within communities. Additionally, we are working on projects that explore the distinct roles of various sport participation locations, such as parks, fitness clubs, and community recreation centers, in promoting sport participation behaviors and enhancing well-being.

Regarding sport spectatorship, we are conducting projects that examine how engagement in professional sporting events, both through behavioral live spectating and psychological identification with professional sport teams, is associated with consumer well-being. We recently published a paper that provides evidence supporting sport spectatorship as a form of experiential consumption that fosters happiness among sport fans.

What’s a fun fact you’d like to share about yourself? What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a big fan of track and field and long-distance running. One of my childhood idols was Carl Lewis, who won nine Olympic gold medals in sprint and long-jump events. I am also a recreational runner. 

Since moving to Illinois, I have participated in the Illinois Marathon's 10k race twice. The event was incredibly well-organized, and I recommend it to runners of all levels, from novices to experienced athletes!

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