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WELCOME to the Physical Activity SIG!

The aims of the Physical Activity Special Interest Group (PA SIG) are to: 1) update Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) members on the latest developments and initiatives of relevance to the physical activity field; 2) provide a format for both formal and informal networking among SBM members with physical activity interests; and 3) serve as a forum for advancing the behavioral physical activity field, through developing submissions for the SBM conference, providing an avenue for mentoring junior investigators with physical activity interests, and identifying appropriate individuals interested in serving as reviewers for relevant scientific journals, National Institutes of Health study sections and SBM program submissions.

In this first edition of the newsletter, we will be introducing you to some of our members and the research that they do. 


Meet the Co-Chairs
Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH
Associate Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Dori's research focuses on measuring and intervening on physical activity and sedentary time. Her research incorporates a multi-level and patient-centered perspective to help ensure individuals can be more successful in making healthy lifestyle choices.

Linda Trinh, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Linda's research focuses on the development of theoretically-driven physical activity and sedentary behavior interventions for cancer control and survivorship. Her research examines effects of physical activity in cancer survivors on symptom management and health-related fitness outcomes.

Meet the Advisory Board

Diane Ehlers, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Centre

Diane's research focuses on the investigations of physical activity's influence on cognition and brain health in cancer survivors.

Rebecca Ellis, PhD
Associate Professor, Georgia State University

Rebecca's primary research objective is to promote physical activity through the development, implementation, evaluation, and translation of interventions.

Jamie Faro, PhD
Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Massachusetts Medical School


Jamie’s research focuses on disseminating and implementing physical activity programs for chronic disease prevention and control in at-risk populations.

David Goodrich. EdD
Implementation Scientist, VA Center for Evaluation and Implementation Resources


David’s research is in the area of health psychology, health services research, implementation science, public health, and program evaluation in clinical and community settings.

Hannah Lane, PhD, MPH
Medical Instructor, Duke University


Hannah’s research is focused on mixed method and community-engaged research in schools and other child-serving settings to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity for all children.

Rachel Millstein, PhD
Assistant Professor & Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Rachel's research focuses on developing multilevel interventions to promote physical activity with an emphases on chronic disease prevention. She is currently studying the role of emotions in health behavior change (specifically physical activity), including the use of positive psychology to improve well-being and health behaviors. 

Courtney Monroe, PhD, EP-C
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina


Courtney's research interests center on how to best harness technologies to effectively promote and measure physical activity, as well as to effectively deliver behavioral weight control in adults.

Jacob Szeszulski, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center
Jacob's research interests are in dissemination and implementation of physical activity and nutrition programs

Allyson Tabaczynski, BSc
Master’s Student, University of Toronto


Allyson’s research interests are in the area of high-intensity interval training and cancer survivorship.

Missed our webinar on July 25, 2019? Watch the ‘Spotlight on Graduate and Trainee Research’ here

This webinar featured graduate and trainee research that included work in progress to completed studies. Interdisciplinary, Ignite talks showcased physical activity promotion using a variety of methodologies such as randomized controlled trials to community-based participatory research in veterans, Black women, American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as cancer survivors.

Presenters included Michelle Pebole (Research Co-ordinator, Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System), Maja Pedersen (PhD student, School of Public and Community Health Sciences, University of Montana), Emily Erlenbach (PhD student, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Dr. Loneke T. Blackman Carr (Postdoctoral Associate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, Duke University).

PA SIG Faculty Member Profile
Melicia Whitt-Glover, PhD
Gramercy Research Group
We recently interviewed physical activity expert, Dr. Melicia Whitt-Glover, about her research and how she founded her own research group.

What is your area of research? Primarily health equity and health disparities.

Tell us about Gramercy Research Group. Gramercy Research Group was founded in 2009. We are a public health research firm, specializing in community-based behavioral interventions focused primarily on racial/ethnic minority and low-income communities. Our mission is to combine faith, science and research to develop evidence-based programs that help individuals adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles. We provide services in the areas of program planning, program and research implementation and evaluation, dissemination, and team management and training. We are a woman- and minority-owned small business. Our initial work was primarily with the faith community and the name Gramercy combines the words grace and mercy.

What advice would you give students and trainees who are interested in pursuing a similar career path? I would encourage you to work in an academic setting or within an existing research and evaluation firm to build a reputation, get exposure to research and evaluation, secure publications and grant funding, and get a feel for how business works. Present at professional meetings and network as much as possible. Most of my work is funded by grants and contracts, and contracts can be greatly impacted by who you know.
View the full member spotlight here!

Research from Student/Trainee Members 

Derek J. Hevel
First-year Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is interested in the relationships between affective and physical activity-related behaviors.
Research Spotlight: Acute Bi-Directional Relations Between Affect, Physical Feeling States, and Activity Related Behaviors Among Older Adults: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study
Older adults are not physically active and therefore do not gain the associated health benefits. One avenue of research to better understand how to encourage older adults to be more active is to examine the bi-directional relations between affect and physical activity. In this study, 103 participants underwent a 10-day monitoring period while wearing an activity monitor and were asked to respond to six Ecological Momentary Assessment prompts per day regarding their current feeling states. Results suggest, feelings of energy are bi-directionally related to activity-related behaviors, yet bi-directional associations between positive affect and activity-related behaviors are less consistent. These findings hold important implications in the development of interventions targeted toward older adults’ activity-related behaviors and ultimately their overall health and well-being.

Twitter: @djhevel


Jean Reading
Third year doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences program at VCU’s School of Medicine. Jean’s primary research interests concern the development and dissemination of lifestyle interventions that promote cardiovascular health among young men.  

Research Spotlight: Reducing adiposity among young men using a low touch behavioral weight loss program
Young men are at high risk for weight gain, obesity and increased cardiovascular risk. While men successfully lose weight in BWL programs once engaged, young men are difficult to recruit and retain in these programs, and as a result, are markedly underrepresented compared to women. Provided that data indicate that low enrollment may be due to low concerns about weight, there is a need for identifying strategies that can enhance men’s perceived susceptibility and severity for weight gain. Risk messages are effective at initial behavior change, but little is known about how risk messages could potentially promote weight loss among young men. More specifically, if these messages are effective when integrated with a low touch weight loss intervention targeting young men. Thus, this project aims to determine if a low touch lifestyle intervention, using male-targeted health risk messages, might represent a viable model to engage young men and promote clinically meaningful reductions in weight and cardiovascular risk factors.



Matthew Henninger
Second-year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University at Buffalo. Matthew’s main research interests are within the domains of primary care behavioral health and clinical health psychology.

Research Spotlight: Physician Stress Test: An Assessment to Qualify Motivating and Inhibiting Factors Across Fields of Practice: Mediation of the Electronic Health Record

The existence of burnout and stress amongst physicians has been well documented in recent years. Factors such as age of physician, years of training, time spent on administrative tasks and choice of specialty have been linked with increased burnout and negative health-related quality of life. Burnout has been associated with early retirement, higher malpractice rates, divorce, self-injurious behavior, substance abuse, and suicidality. This cross-sectional study will examine stressors that impact physician well-being. We seek to determine if significant “positive” stressors exist for physicians, and how this differs amongst fields of practice, years of experience, and social support mechanisms. This research hopes to differentiate between “positive”/motivating stressors vs. “negative”/inhibiting stressors and if these factors significantly differ between cohorts, particularly across fields of practice (i.e., family medicine, surgery, psychiatry). Additionally, we will develop a physician burnout/turnover model to assess burnout with experiences in the electronic health record at a major healthcare system in Western NY. This work will examine variables in the record that mediate the relationship between physician stress/distress and burnout, such as time spent in the record, number of patients seen monthly, medication procedures, and chart review.




Chloé M. Martin, PhD
Co-Chief Postdoctoral Research Fellow and NCI Diversity Supplement recipient (R01 CA207442- 03S1; P.I. Jamie Ostroff) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center- Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her research examines cancer risk-reducing behaviors such as smoking cessation and exercise in at-risk and medically underserved populations.

Research Spotlight: Threat Perceptions, Worry, and Exercise in Overweight and Obese Adults

Obesity significantly increases the risk of developing several health issues including type II diabetes and colon cancer. Engaging in regular exercise reduces the risk of developing these illnesses and improves overall functioning. However, 80% of adults do not meet the minimum exercise recommendation of 150- 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Furthermore, reports show that individuals with obesity exercise less frequently. Obese individuals experience unique weight-related barriers to exercise (e.g. fear of falling, stigma, and weight discrimination). In a secondary analysis of data collected as part of a national probability sample (R01 CA197351), I find that 50.5% of the overweight and obese participants (N= 1023) report adequate exercise (between 150- 1260 minutes per week). We are examining relationships between threat perceptions (susceptibility and severity of developing diabetes and colon cancer), worry, and exercise among this group. These results will further our understanding of how attitudes and worry about illnesses are related to exercise in individuals with obesity.



Want to be featured in our student/trainee spotlight? Email us with a brief description of yourself and your research project!
Physical Activity Challenge!
Take a photo of yourself doing physical activity and a brief description and we’ll feature it in the next newsletter. It’s a great way to see how our membership engages in physical activity.
Collaboration Corner
Looking for researchers doing similar research to collaborate with?  Send us who you might be looking for and we’ll feature it here!
What's the Buzz? #PA Media Trends
Let us know your thoughts on this quarter's #PA Media Trend or send us new and exciting physical activity "buzz"!

This quarter's trend: Virtual Motion Sensor Games, like #RingFitAdventure

Nintendo recently released it's new game for Switch, Ring Fit Adventure. This new game is being marketed as a method for users to "explore a huge fantasy world and defeat enemies using real-life exercise."  The game features several accessories with built-in IR Motion Sensors. Is this a new way to integrate physical activity into daily life, or just a passing trend? Read more about the game, and it's media buzz:

Recent Publications

Congratulations to our members on their recent publications!

Albright CL, Wilkens LR, Saiki K, White KK, Steffen AD. Mediators of a 12-month change in physical activity in an ethnically diverse sample of postpartum women. Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. 2019;4(19): 215-224.

Amagasa S, Inoue S, Fukushima N, Kikuchi H, Nakaya T, Hanibuchi T, Sallis JF, Owen N. Associations of neighborhood walkability with intensity- and bout-specific physical activity and sedentary behavior of older adults in Japan. Geriatrics & Gerontology International. 2019; 19:861-867.

Catenacci VA, Ostendorf DM, Pan Z, Bing K, Wayland LT, Seyoum E... & Wyatt HR. The Impact of Timing of Exercise Initiation on Weight Loss: An 18‐Month Randomized Clinical Trial. Obesity. 2019 Nov; 27(11):1828-1838.

Covington KR, Hidde MC, Pergolotti M, Leach HJ. Community-based exercise programs for cancer survivors: a scoping review of practice-based evidence. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Dec;27(12):4435-4450.

Friel CP, Cornelius T, Diaz KM Factors associated with long-term wearable physical activity monitor user engagement. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2019 Oct; epub

Gorzelitz J, Costanzo ES, Spencer RJ, Rumble M, Rose SL, Cadmus-Bertram L. Longitudinal assessment of post-surgical physical activity in endometrial and ovarian cancer patients. PLoS ONE. 2019; 14(10): e0223791.

Hagger MS. Redefining habits and linking habits with other implicit processes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2020; 46: 101606.

Hall KS, Morey MC, Beckham JC, Bosworth HB, Sloane R, Pieper CF, Pebole MM. Warrior Wellness: A randomized controlled pilot trial of the effects of exercise on physical function and clinical health risk factors in older military veterans with PTSD. In press, Journals of Gerontology:  Series A, glz255.

Jekauc D, Mnich C, Niessner C, Wunsch K, Nigg CR, Krell-Roesch J, Woll A. Testing the Weiss-Harter-Model: Physical Activity, Self-Esteem, Enjoyment, and Social Support in Children and Adolescents. In press, Frontiers in Psychology.

Kepper MM, Staiano AE, Katzmarzyk PT, Reis R, Eyler A, Griffith DM, Kendall M, ElBanna B, Denstel KD, Broyles ST. Neighborhood influences on women’s parenting practices for adolescents’ outdoor play: A qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019;16(20):3853.

Kracht CL, Webster EK, Staiano AE. Sociodemographic differences in young children meeting 24-hour movement guidelines. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2019; 16(10): 908-915.

Leach HJ, LeBreton KA, Wurz AJ, Pergolotti M, Braun B, Schuster SR, Green P. Exploring cardiologists’ and oncologists’ exercise recommendation and referral practices. Health Education Journal. 2019 Sept 23; epub,

Limburg K, Bodill K, Watson HJ, Kane RT, Hagger MS, Egan SJ. Validity of the compulsive exercise test in regular exercisers. Eating Disorders. 2019: epub. 

Mama SK, Bhuiyan N, Lee RE, Basen-Engquist K, Wetter DW, Thompson D, McNeill LH. Comparing multiple measures of physical activity in African American adults. American Journal of Health Behavior. 2019;43(5):877-886. 

Marquez DX, Aguiñaga S, Castillo A, Hughes S, Der Ananian C, Whitt-Glover MC. ¡Ojo! What to expect in recruiting/retaining older Latinos in physical activity programs. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2019 Aug; ibz127.

Meyer J, Crombie K, Cook D, Hillard C, Koltyn K. Serum endocannabinoid and mood changes after exercise in major depressive disorder. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2019;51(9): 1909–1917.

Miller MJ, Cook PF, Kline PW, Anderson CB, Stevens-Lapsley JE, Christiansen CL. Physical Function and Pre-Amputation Characteristics Explain Daily Step Count after Dysvascular Amputation. PM & R. 2019 Oct;6(11):1050–1058.

Mnich C, Weyland S, Jekauc D, Schipperijn J. Psychosocial and Physiological Health Outcomes of Green Exercise in Children and Adolescents - A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019;16(21): 4266. 

Ory M, Ozemek C, Marquez DX. ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine® for Older Adults: Creating Activity Friendly Communities for All. The Journal on Active Aging. 2019;18(3).

Redwine LS, Wilson K, Pung MA, Chinh K, Rutledge T, Mills PJ, Smith B. A Randomized Study Examining the Effects of Mild-to-Moderate Group Exercises on Cardiovascular, Physical, and Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Heart Failure. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2019;39(6):403–408

Vásquez PM, Marquez DX, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Argos M, Lamar M, Odoms-Young A, Wu D, González HM, Tarraf W, Sotres-Alvarez D, Vidot DC, Murillo R, Perreira K, Castañeda S, Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Cai J, Gellman MD, and Daviglus ML. Moderate-vigorous physical activity and health-related quality of life among Hispanic/Latino adults in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes. 2019;3(45). 

Read an interesting media article? Recently published a scientific paper? Have ideas for new newsletter content?  Email us!