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Physical Activity SIG Update

Physical Activity SIG Update
Jeremy A. Steeves, PhD, MPH, PA SIG Outlook Liaison
David M. Williams, PhD, Physical Activity SIG Co-Chair
Beth A. Lewis, PhD, Physical Activity SIG Co-Chair

Award Winners

The Physical Activity Special Interest Group’s (PA SIG) mission is to keep SBM members abreast of the latest developments and initiatives related to the physical activity field, provide opportunities for networking, and to serve as a forum advocating for the promotion of physical activity through various scientific activities.

A highlight of this year’s PA SIG meeting at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting held in Philadelphia, PA was the presentation of the local innovator award. We were delighted to present a check for $200 to ‘Back on My Feet’, a national organization born in the City of Brotherly Love-Philadelphia, that uses running to help the homeless change the way they see themselves and progress towards employment and independent living. With the help of its many volunteers, the Back on My Feet organization partners with six homeless shelters in Philadelphia to provide running programs. Runners (homeless residential members and community volunteers) begin running at 5:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and experience all the physical and emotional benefits of running and being part of a supportive community. Currently, Back on My Feet has chapters in 11 cities, where it helps members go the distance, one step at a time. (http://philadelphia.backonmyfeet.org).

Also at the SIG meeting, SIG co-chairs presented a summary report of the “physical activity science map,” which represents an effort to expand the number of professional connections within the PA SIG, leading to future collaboration and mentorship opportunities. The map was populated with information provided by a survey sent to SIG members following last year’s member meeting in San Francisco. Respondents were asked to identify their primary areas of physical activity research, as well as areas of research in which they are interested in gaining more experience. The next step in the PA science map initiative will be to re-circulate an updated version to solicit additional information from respondents, and to determine the ideal forum for dissemination of the results.

Congratulations to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL student Elizabeth Awick, BS, for winning a Meritorious Award for her paper session presentation, “Does a home-based DVD-Delivered Physical Activity Program Increase Self-Esteem in Older Adults: An RCT.”

This year we welcomed Beth Lewis who was elected to serve as the new PA SIG co-chair.  We look forward to the direction Beth and Dave Williams (2nd year as PA SIG co-chair) will take the PA SIG in the next several years, and would like to thank former co-chair (Matt Buman) for his service and leadership as his PA SIG co-chair tenure comes to an end.

Membership in the Physical Activity SIG remains high with 427 members, despite dropping 32 members from our peak membership (459) in 2013.  We have an excellent balance of Student/Trainee (44%) and Full Members (43%), and a healthy share of Fellow (7%) and Transitional (4%) members.  

I invite all SBM members interested in physical activity or physical activity research to contact me to discuss ways that they can be more involved in the PA SIG, and challenge the PA SIG to increase its membership in an effort to surpass our 2013 numbers at next year’s 2015 meeting in San Antonio!

We look forward to your attendance at next year’s PA SIG breakfast and business meeting!

Be Active.