Research Profile: Michelle Segar
Michelle Segar studies the cultural norms and gender-specific pressures that undermine sustainable physical activity motivation, self-regulation, and behavior. Her latest research project is a collaboration with public health scholars Dr. Olivia Affuso and Dr. Amber Kinsey from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In this study, they are specifically looking at physical activity patterns and motivations among African American women.
Dr. Affuso presented early findings from some of their studies at an event hosted by the SHARP center in March 2018 in Ann Arbor. The first study examined physical activity maintenance among African American women, including periods of lapsed physical activity, and returns to normal levels. Their goal was to discover the reasons why these lapses in activity occurred in order to develop more strategic interventions that can address and prevent barriers to long-term physical activity for African American women who are at high-risk for chronic disease.
In their second study, the research team explored prevalence of outdoor physical activity among African American women. They sought a better understanding of what types of outdoor physical activity African American women engaged in, and if there were differences between those who engaged in outdoor physical activity with a group compared to those who did so alone.
The research team’s next step is to investigate the motivators and barriers of African American women who sustain physically active lives. They hope to gain insights into what prompts these women to become physically active in the first place, and what drives them to continue over time in order to harness this information for creating more impactful interventions for low-active African American women.