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Physical Activity and Disease Prevention Workshop: Identifying Research Priorities

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This workshop was coordinated and funded by the NIH Office of Disease Prevention and held on December 13–14, 2012 at the Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, MD. The workshop examined effective evidence-based interventions for initiating and sustaining physical activity, barriers to achieving the federal Physical Activity Guidelines published in 2008, NIH’s physical activity research portfolio, as well as current and emerging research methodologies. Additional topics the workshop focused on included: NIH’s interest in supporting innovative research to improve physical activity assessment and research methods used with diverse age and racial/ethnic populations; the need to identify barriers and facilitators to achieving national physical activity guidelines across population groups; new partnerships within NIH and across federal agencies; and prioritizing the NIH physical activity research agenda.

Agenda and Presentations

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Time Description
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Packet Pick-up
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks and Introductions
David Murray, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 97 KB)
Overview of workshop goals and objectives by ODP Director: Impetus for the workshop; NIH’s interest in supporting innovative research to improve physical activity assessment and research methods used with diverse age and racial/ethnic populations; desire to identify the barriers to achieving national physical activity guidelines in diverse populations; and need to prioritize the NIH physical activity research agenda.

Russ Pate, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 2.2 MB)
CAPT. Rick Troiano, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 287 KB)
Introductory remarks by workshop co-chairs: Overview of the workshop program and sessions; brief review of the physical activity terminology; and personal remarks regarding interest and expectations for the meeting.
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Keynote Address
Russ Pate, Ph.D.
Evidence-based research on health benefits and risks of physical activity; variations in the response to physical activity; population physical activity levels; and personal insight on what it will take to “move the bar.”

Co-chairs to facilitate Q&A session.
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. – Noon Session #1: Barriers to Achieving the Physical Activity Guidelines
Ross Hammond, Ph.D.
Deborah Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. | Presentation (PDF - 616 KB)
James Sallis, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 1.6 MB)
Approach: Socio-ecological overview of the barriers to achieving physical activity recommendations and evidence-based strategies to surmount the barriers. Three panelists have been selected to provide an overview of systems science and approaches for working with youth and adults.
  • Provide overview of the environment/community, worksite/school, and individual/family barriers for children, adolescents, working adults, and older adults.
  • Systems Approach for Behavior Change Research
  • Highlight relevant policies that promote physical activity behaviors for each age group.
  • Summarize research evidence on unique barriers that disadvantaged groups face with respect to achieving physical activity recommendations.
Co-chairs to facilitate discussion and summary points.
Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Session #2: What works?
Linda Collins, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 623 KB)
Abby King, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 1 MB)
Bess Marcus, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 2.5 MB)
Approach: Brief presentations by three panelists to discuss the most effective evidence-based interventions for initiating and sustaining desired physical activity behavior changes in children and adults.
  • Identify the strongest predictors of long-term behavior change in each age group (include policy and other environmental, sociocultural, individual, and familial factors).
  • Explore the evidence base for policies promoting physical activity and interventions that have a positive impact on physical activity levels of children and adults.
  • Present an update from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: Mid-Course Review
  • Improved Intervention Design and Development
Co-chairs to facilitate discussion and summary points.
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Session #3: Measurement of Physical Activity Behavior
Steven Intille, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 1.7 MB)
Patty Freedson, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 3.3 MB)
Approach: Three presentations discussing current and emerging physical activity research methodologies in a variety of contexts.
  • Demonstrate current physical activity assessment methods-objective and self-reported. Discuss strengths, limitations, and strongest methods.
  • Present overview of emerging technology such as mobile apps and social media.
  • Speak about applied research using new physical activity assessment technology.
  • Identify future research needs.
Co-chairs to facilitate discussion and summary points.
4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Wrap-up and Summary of Day One Discussion
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Optional Group Dinner
Friday, December 14, 2012
Time Description
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Session #4: NIH Physical Activity Research Portfolio
Barry Portnoy, Ph.D. and Jessica Wu, Ph.D. | Presentation (PDF - 1 MB)

Approach: Summary of the current NIH physical activity research portfolio.

  • Discuss approaches for strengthening the evidence base for future physical activity program and policy initiatives.
  • Address key questions related to future study designs, physical activity measurement methodology, etc.
  • Exchange ideas and weigh in on priority research and program needs.
Co-chairs to facilitate discussion and summary points.
9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Break
9:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Session #5: Where do we go from here?
Russ Pate, Ph.D. and CAPT. Rick Troiano, Ph.D.
Research priorities and next steps or future directions:
  • Targeted intervention studies
  • New methods and measures
  • Promising technologies in need of additional research
  • New and expanded collaborations and partnerships.
Co-chairs to facilitate discussion and summary points.
11:30 a.m. – Noon Closing Remarks and Plans for Follow-up Activities
David Murray, Ph.D.