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Have you ever wondered why knowing what behaviors to change, and even wanting to change them is not sufficient for creating sustainable self-care behaviors like exercise and getting more sleep? For over 24 years, Dr. Michelle Segar has been conducting focused research on and directly helping individuals, professionals, and organizations bridge this gap through her unique integration of leading-edge science, lifestyle coaching, curriculum development and evaluation, and direct-to-consumer marketing. She has implemented her teachings at Corporations, Healthcare Organizations, and shows individuals how to independently sustain change behavior.
Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, MS, bestselling author of No Sweat, how the simple science of motivation can bring you a lifetime of fitmess, and sustainable behavior change scientist, directs the University of Michigan’s Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center. Having translated science into sustainable behavior change messages and programming for decades she is a recognized pioneer and leading authority in this field. (See featured peer-reviewed publications and national media listed below.)
Because of her comprehensive and artisanal approach to creating sustainable behavior change related to healthy lifestyles and well-being, global organizations bring her in to make sure they understand the core science and approach to accelerate and sustain outcomes. Her prestigious list of clients include Adidas, Anytime Fitness, Beaumont Health System, EXL, Google, Harvard Medical School, Kaiser Permanente, National Business Group on Health, PepsiCo, and Walmart.
Dr. Segar is a NIH-funded researcher and she 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.
Her science-based, call-to-actions for “health promoters should stop promoting health” and to “rebrand health as well-being” have been changing policies, programs, and practice across the healthcare, wellness and fitness industries, and her work is being used within corporate health and well-being programs, patient counseling and health coaching protocols, social-media based fitness apps and programs, diabetes prevention programs, allied health and medical school curriculum, and fitness club onboarding and customer experience.
“Michelle Segar delivered a dynamic keynote for our Leadership Summit on Workforce Well-being. Her research on sustainable behavior change is compelling, and her passionate, articulate and engaging style earned accolades from our audience of seasoned benefits and corporate wellness professionals. Most importantly, her ideas for how to apply the research were simple, easy to understand, and implement. We would highly recommend Michelle Segar as a keynote speaker.”
LuAnn Heinen, Vice President, National Business Group on Health;
Director, Institute on Health, Productivity & Human Capital
“After attending your “Reframing Health as Well-being” Training, I have changed how I think about my work with patients as an occupational therapist and even my personal life. Your research-based yet practical approach to self care, a new internal dialog, and habit formation has helped me reframe the conversation with my patients to break the cycles of failure they have been on, and has been enabling us to move in a new direction—one focused on daily functioning and well-being. The tools you developed guide self discovery of the underlying true motivation for positive sustainable self care (movement, sleep, eating well, mental processing, etc…) as well as the barriers to achieving it. I also really appreciated your caution to us in the training about not asking our patients to change too much too fast. It offers a more realistic and accessible approach. Thank you Michelle for sharing your work and inspiring others. We are starting to develop a new protocol to evaluate with our patients that integrates the key ideas and methods you taught us last month.”
Katherine Konosky M.S., O.T.R./L. University of Michigan Health System
“It was a terrific experience to host Dr. Michelle Segar in Lisbon for a series of lectures, trainings, and discussions around behavior change and how to more effectively engage clients and patients in regular physical activity. Her ideas, based on sound research and also on a rich applied experience from her own coaching of individuals, are innovative and very important.
Everyone who listened to her left excited to get to work! I was particularly encouraged and inspired by Dr. Segar’s passion and her ability to translate complex concepts into simple ideas. We sincerely look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with Dr. Michelle Segar.”
Pedro Teixeira, Professor, Departamento de Desporto e Saúde, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana,
Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal
“People are still talking about the “Moving Toward Happiness” presentation and “Reframing Health as Well-being” behavioral training that Dr. Segar provided for the city of Lincoln. Not only were the presentations fresh, informative, and thought provoking but the participants were left with a message and methods that they could take home and use immediately with their clients/patients and in their own personal lives. Dr. Segar’s message to move away from an “all or nothing” approach to a realistic one that people can benefit from in their daily lives really resonated with the attendees, especially those who work with patients and study participants. Aging Partners staff will convey Dr. Segar’s innovative and important messages when working with participants and conducting community programs. It was a real pleasure to work with Dr. Segar and we await her next visit.”
Aging Partners, Deb Peck
“I saw Dr. Michelle Segar’s talk at the Art and Science of Health Promotion conference in San Diego this year. Not since my first round of survey undergraduate courses have I had so many “A-Hah!” moments during a lecture. Segar’s research regarding how to link motivators for physical activity to dedication to an active lifestyle is ground-breaking. Her work gives us new insights so we can ask better questions, like: “Are the motivators we are using to promote health behaviors the right motivators to promote health behaviors that can be sustained?” Working her ideas into worksite wellness programs, such as the one I coordinate at BlueCross, can dramatically help shape organizational cultures of health. I have begun reworking my Wellness Champions program to include Segar’s language of “exercise as a gift of self-care” in an effort to revive our employees’ love of physical activity. Segar’s research points the health promotion industry in an exciting new direction.
Sara Martin, Employee Wellness Coordinator, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
“It was a pleasure having you speak at the Spirit of Women’s 12th Annual National Executive Meeting in Washington, D.C. Your presentation topic was a highlight of our curriculum. The practical message you provided is of incredible value for our member hospitals. I look forward to exploring more opportunities for your company and Spirit of Women to work together.”
Tanya Abreu, President and National Program Director, Spirit of Women
I wanted to send a big ‘THANKS!’ for presenting at our 2010 WISEWOMAN Annual Meeting. Your keynote presentation was very well received by our lifestyle counselors and definitely provided them with new ways of thinking about behavior change. Your research certainly has a valuable role to play in the work we do with our WISEWOMAN participants.”
Viki Lorraine, WISEWOMAN Program, State of Michigan, Department of Community Health
“I recently attended the American Journal of Health Promotion conference. Even in a cornucopia of excellent sessions, Dr. Michelle Segar’s workshops really stood out. Her first session, showcasing how to set goals in new ways that generate motivation that sticks, what she coined
SUSTAIN-ERGY™, created mountaintop “aha!” moments for myself and others – one of those rare times in life when you understand you are experiencing a true paradigm shift. After Michelle’s first session, several of us kept talking in the hall – we couldn’t wait to go to her next talk to hear more because we were so blown away! The second session was just as inspiring! She showed us how to rebrand exercise from a chore into a gift – Her research demonstrates a whole new model for moving sedentary women toward the joy of movement in a way we can all use. Her passion is uplifting and her simple and clear teaching models are outstanding. Even as an educator, I hadn’t been able to identify why for the last 18 months I have been able to maintain daily exercise – But Michelle’s work gave me the framework, even the specific words, to understand why! I can now take what I’ve learned and start framing exercise as a gift to help those I work with discover the hidden joys of physical activity. Thank you Michelle!”
Wendy Pender, Conference Attendee, San Diego, 2012
"Michelle was an enthusiastic and dynamic speaker! She helped us make the link between the "why" and the "how" of the behavior change process and explained how this framework could help us guide our patients to develop an intrinsic and sustainable desire to exercise to improve their heart health. We have carried her message of how to create sustainable behavior through to our patients."
Patricia J Dolhun, MD, Medical Director,
Women's Heart Secrets Program, Columbia-St. Mary's Hospitals
Featured Interviews with Michelle
New York Times, Rethinking Exercise as a Source of Immediate Rewards,
The Wall Street Journal, Five Secrets for Steadier Workouts
TIME, Here’s How to Make Yourself Love Exercise
Fast Company, The Scientific Secret To Staying In Shape: Fall In Love With Exercising,
NPR, How science can help you actually keep your New Year’s resolutions
Huffington Post, Sustainable Motivation for New Year Resolutions
NPR, The Magic Pill
Aging Well (cover story), Rebranding Exercise: Physicians should focus on patients’ quality-of-life benefits