Bio

 

Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, behavioral sustainability scientist and author of the critically acclaimed “No Sweat! How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness (AMACOM 2015), is Director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center (SHARP) at the University of Michigan.  

*Michelle has devoted her career to creating sustainable behavior change and she is a recognized pioneer in the field. Decades before it was a recognized need, she began studying how to build lasting motivation and sustainable health-related behavior among individuals in both research and real life. Her 360-degree expertise in sustainable behavior change is unique, based on almost 25 years of conducting award-winning science as well as coaching individuals in her three-part system.

Organizations, business leaders, and professionals in health care, wellness, and fitness wanting more than simplistic or short-term solutions seek Michelle’s expertise in three important areas: patient activation and adherence, sustainable consumer engaement and motivation, and the cultivation of employee curiosity about and commitment to their health and well-being.

Her provocative and counter-intuitive insights on how to achieve the consistent decisions that underlie sustainable behavior change are based on a deep understanding of how to convert complex science into easy-to-use principles. Michelle’s time-tested and research-backed methods and communication strategies are being adopted in:

  • eLearning diabetes prevention programs
  • Wellness champion trainings
  • fitness onboarding and personal training systems
  • behavioral design for mobile apps and wearables
  • corporate wellness programs
  • lifestyle coaching protocols and certifications
  • undergraduate and graduate school curriculum across health care (MD, RN, PA, PT, etc.) psychology, fitness, nutrition, and physical education

Michelle is a frequent keynote speaker and organizational consultant, and in addition she delivers sustainable-behavior-change eTrainings to professionals around the world. Her corporate client list includes Adidas, Anytime Fitness, Australian Fitness Network, Beaumont Health System, Centre for Positive Psychology, EXL, Google, Harvard Medical School, Influence Health, Kaiser Permanente, National Business Group on Health, PepsiCo, Walmart, and the University of Vermont Medical Center. She is often interviewed in the media (e.g., NYT, WSJ, NPR, Huffington Post).

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. No Sweat was chosen as the #1 book in Diet/Exercise in 2015 by the USA Best Book Awards and achieved the #1 selling Exercise & Fitness book on Amazon in its original release.

Michelle lives with her husband, son, and pet hamster in Ann Arbor, and she loves walking, speaking Spanish, eating great food, and hanging out with friends and family. She ran with the Olympic Torch at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

To stay informed on the latest research and thinking related to creating lasting motivation and sustainable behavior change sign up forMichelle’s SUSTAINBLE CHANGE newletter via the SUBSCRIBE orange button on the menu above.

*In February 1994 Michelle had a light-bulb moment that put her on what was to be her lifelong purpose and path. She had conducted an exercise study among people who had faced a life-threatening illness, and three months later participants came back for focus groups. Although they spoke positively about the benefits of being active during the study, she was shocked to discover that most had stopped exercising when it ended. When Michelle asked why, they told her that they had returned to their lives — they were too busy; they couldn’t make exercise a priority among their many other responsibilities. Michelle was stunned: these people, who had faced death, felt comfortable committing to exercise for a study, but not for their ongoing self-care! Since then, Michelle has been studying relevant science, conducting her own research, and working directly with individuals in order to develop systematic methods and messages that help individuals and populations to consistently prioritize their own self-care and adopt healthy behaviors — and stay motivated to sustain them.

Michelle Can Help You Create Sustainable Behavior Change

We’ve been taught to think about motivation in terms of “quantity” and how to increase it. Thinking about motivation in this way is limiting and will not help you create sustainable motivation and behavior change. We’ve also been taught to think of motivation as the primary driver of behavior. Yet, research shows that motivation results from the main reason why individuals initiate any behavior change. The foundation of motivation is people’s primary reason for initiating that behavior.

Motivation isn’t the cause. It’s actually the result. And it’s quite easy to change.

Michelle Can Help You Create Sustainable Behavior Change

We’ve been taught to think about motivation in terms of “quantity” and how to increase it. Thinking about motivation in this way is limiting and will not help you create sustainable motivation and behavior change. We’ve also been taught to think of motivation as the primary driver of behavior. Yet, research shows that motivation results from the main reason why individuals initiate any behavior change. The foundation of motivation is people’s primary reason for initiating that behavior.

Motivation isn’t the cause. It’s actually the result. And it’s quite easy to change.

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