Noted author to meet with SRU physical and health education faculty


Michelle Segar and her book

Author Michelle Segar will meet with more than 40 SRU students and professors and local physical education teachers June 28.

June 13, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - When Slippery Rock University's physical and health education department began to refocus their curriculum on movement and wellness as a means for preventing chronic health problems, they weren't alone in their thinking.

"One of the problems with the traditional approach to exercise is that society has educated people to consider it as a bitter pill to take to rectify a health problem or as a body sculpting tool that doesn't work for most people," said Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health and Activity Research Policy Center at the University of Michigan.

Segar is the author of "No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness." USA Best Book Awards chose "No Sweat" as its top book for diet and exercise in 2015, while the New York Times named it as a breakthrough book the same year.

"If we teach people to think and feel about physical activity as a fun way they can enhance their daily well-being, science shows they are more motivated for long-term success," Segar said.

She will visit the University June 28 to meet with more than 40 SRU students and professors and local physical education teachers to present, "New Curriculum That Cultivates a Love of Physical Movement: Planting the Seeds of Lifelong Enjoyable and Energizing Physical Activity."

Segar will present science-based evidence to explain why traditional fitness regiments fail; and share with students how to create their own lessons and curriculum for instilling "physical activity as a gift mindset." She will brainstorm with teachers on how concepts based on the science of decision-making and motivation discussed in her book can be threaded into a wellness curriculum at their schools.

Segar said her perspective comes from more than 20 years of research, fitness motivation, coaching and consulting aimed at cultivating "lasting motivation, behavioral sustainability, fitness, well-being, meaning and health." In addition to her work at Michigan, Segar consults with a variety of corporate entities, including: Google, Walmart and PepsiCo.

She has master's degrees in health behavior and kinesiology and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Michigan.

Randy Nichols, SRU professor of physical and health education, who spearheaded a recent program name change from Health and Physical Education: Teacher Education to School Wellness Education, believes Segar's visit dovetails nicely with his program's revised focus.

"We want people to be physical active and look at physical activity as a gift," Nichols said. "Segar's work is part of the new mindset and curriculum we are creating at SRU."

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