A role model for the benefits of active living,
she brings both passion and humor to all her endeavors
Kathleen M.Connell, the CWGroup, San Diego, CA.
About Dr. Joan
Dr. Joan Vernikos is a well-known expert in stress and healthy aging. Since retiring from NASA as Director of Life Sciences following a career there as both a researcher and administrator, she has committed to bringing her knowledge and insights on healthy living to the general public. Published in 2011, her book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness and early Death - and Exercise Alone Won't, shows how modern sedentary lifestyles contribute to poor health, obesity, and diabetes, and how health can be dramatically improved simply with continuous, low-intensity movement that challenges the force of gravity. Initially recruited by a nascent NASA for her stress expertise, Dr. Joan later pioneered research on how living in a micro-gravity environment adversely affected the health of astronauts. In the 1970’s she worked with scientists in the Soviet space program in a rare sharing of efforts between the then-enemies, and thereafter led the development of a “bed-rest” facility to mimic the effects of micro-gravity on test subjects.
In 1993 Dr. Joan was promoted to Director of Life Sciences for NASA, a position she held until her “retirement” in 2000. There, she was instrumental in the return to space of American hero John Glenn at the age of 77.
Dr. Joan's research and observations led her to conclude that managing stress and effectively using gravity in daily life are key, not only to healthy aging, but for all of us in our quest for abundant health and well-being. Her mission is to see that happen.
Dr. Joan’s books include her newest publication, Indie Excellence Book Award Finalist“Sitting Kills, Moving Heals” published by Quill Driver Books in 2011. It was preceded by “The G Connection - Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging" (2004), and“Stress Fitness for Seniors" (2009).
When she isn't writing or being active, Dr. Joan can be found giving talks on Movement for Health, consulting to organizations on product development and whole workplace design, and teaching at the Taksha University where she is Chair of the Taksha Institute for Space, Health and Aging under The School of Integrative Medicine.
A resume of her work, publications, awards and patents as well as a super short bio and a complete cv are available.