Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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Physical Activity SIG Update

Beth Lewis, PhD, PA SIG Co-Liaison, Outlook Newsletter
Maya Santoro, MA, PA SIG Co-Liaison, Outlook Newsletter
Matthew Buman, PhD, Chair, PA SIG
David Williams, PhD, Co-Chair, PA SIG

The Physical Activity SIG has grown significantly during the past four years.  Specifically, it has increased by 94%, from 237 members in 2009 to 459 members in 2013.  Almost half of these members are students or trainees.  The purpose of the PA SIG is to update SBM members on the latest developments and initiatives related to the physical activity field, provide opportunities for networking, and to serve as a forum for advocating for the physical activity promotion field through various scientific activities.

The PA SIG hosted an informative and productive meeting at the 2013 SBM conference in San Francisco.  One of the topics discussed was increasing involvement in public policy.  As a result of this meeting, the SIG has assembled a group to talk about potential ways to get involved in policy-related matters.  For example, SBM and the PA SIG are affiliate members of the National Physical Activity Plan (http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/).  This plan specifically identifies eight sectors that involve physical activity, which presents an excellent opportunity for the PA SIG members to become involved.  Another area that has been discussed is integrating PA counseling in clinical settings and in finding ways to advocate for reimbursement models. 

Matt Buman will continue another year as the PA SIG co-chair and David Williams has begun his first year as PA SIG co-chair.  Dr. Williams’ research focuses on understanding the interplay between affective and cognitive determinants of exercise behavior in the context of exercise promotion programs.  Dr. Williams, along with Matthew Buman, plan to spearhead two initiatives.  The first involves the creation of a “physical activity science map” of research interests in the PA SIG to identify who is doing what, foster potential collaborations, and create potential mentorship opportunities.  A survey will be sent to SIG members to collect the information and this map will be presented to members at SBM in Philadelphia.  The hope is that this map will lead to future collaboration and mentorship opportunities.  Second, starting at SBM in 2014, there will be an opportunity to participate in “random networking” within the PA SIG. Interested SIG members will submit an available meal-time period (e.g., Thursday or Friday lunch or dinner) and will be randomly grouped with six or seven other SIG members. Groups will likely be stratified by career experience to ensure a mix of senior professionals, junior professionals, postdoctoral trainees, and students. Sharing a meal with other SIG members provides the opportunity to form relationships not easily forgotten, and, over time, expand the number of personal and professional connections within the PA SIG.

The PA SIG is looking forward to another productive year and important PA SIG activities at the upcoming 2014 SBM meeting in Philadelphia!