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Reaching the 80% of Americans that don’t go to Fitness Clubs


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Reaching the 80% of Americans that don’t go to Fitness Clubs

For the past 40+ years the fitness industry has largely succeeded in getting the fit fitter. That may sound like harsh statement for an industry that is all about making the public healthier, but it is an objective reality. Only 15-20% of the American public regularly goes to health/fitness clubs, leaving the other 80% to flounder in an attempt to become more active, improve their fitness, and better their health. Given the fact that 80% figure has not changed for decades, maybe it is time for the health/fitness industry to rethink its approach to getting our nation more active and healthier.

Enter Dr. Michelle Segar, who has been talking and writing about this different approach for years. Dr. Segar is (among many things) a sustainable-behavior-change researcher that focuses her research on physical activity and movement. Her book, No Sweat, provides a framework and language that makes physical activity much more desireable for the many Americans who do not engage in any physical activity, let alone consider going to a health/fitness club.

This podcast will take a deep dive into Dr. Segar’s framework. In doing so, we’ll explore a paradigm shifting model of how to encourage sustainable physical activity for all individuals – not just the 20% of Americans who go to health/fitness clubs. Many industry leaders believe Dr. Segar's work is crticial to reaching this other 80%.

The answer to solving many of our largest public health problems start with increasing physical activity. Furthermore, the answers to transforming the health/fitness industry, both in terms of public health impact and economically, most certainly begin with engaging the 80%ers. This podcast episode is a masterclass in how to do just that. 

Our Guest: Dr. Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, MS

Michelle Segar, University of Michigan sustainable-behavior-change researcher, health coach, and author of the bestselling No Sweat, is a Member of IHRSA’s Medical, Science & Health Advisory Council, Inaugural chair of the United States National Physical Activity Plan’s Communication Committee, and consultant to companies like Anytime Fitness, Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, and Adidas.

Her translational research is used across the fitness, health care, and wellness industries to cultivate the motivation, engagement, and sustainability that underlie better health and well-being. Michelle’s new provocative book, The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise, challenges the status quo and offers a new mindset and joyful solution for lasting change. Michelle speaks globally about how to more strategically market health, fitness, and self-care behaviors to the population and trains professionals in science-backed, easy-to-use behavior change methods. She is frequently interviewed in major media outlets like The New York Times, NPR, Fast Company, Inc. and The Wall Street Journal. Michelle holds a doctorate in Psychology (PhD), a master’s degree in Health Behavior/Health Education (MPH), and a master’s degree in Kinesiology (MS) from the University of Michigan and she ran with the Torch in the 1992 Olympic Games. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and son.

Helpful Links from the Podcast:

Link to book: No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness