Michelle is an award-winning, NIH-funded researcher at the University of Michigan with almost thirty years studying how to help people adopt healthy behaviors in ways that can survive the complexity and unpredictability of the real world.

Michelle’s translational research is widely recognized as relevant and practical. She is an advisor to World Health Organization, was named inaugural chair of the United States National Physical Activity Plan’s Communication Committee, an adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services, a speaker for the World Health Organization, and former director of the University of Michigan’s Sports, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center.

Michelle’s perspective is uniquely comprehensive – For her entire career she has combined academic research with real-world health coaching to pioneer methods that create sustainable healthy behavior change, and which have been adopted to boost patient health, employee health and well-being, and gym membership retention. Her first book, NO SWEAT! is used as a core text in training professionals in health coaching and patient counseling. Michelle’s interdisciplinary training includes a doctorate in Psychology (PhD), a master’s degree in Health Behavior/Health Education (MPH), a master’s degree in Kinesiology (MS) and fellowships in translational research and health care policy from UM.

Michelle translates key science into sticky concepts, fun graphics, and consumer-friendly tools to produce sustainable change in the real world. She cares deeply about helping professionals and organizations learn how to apply and scale high-impact research into pragmatic products and services. She speaks and consults with organizations including Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, American Telemedicine Association, Business Group on Health, Anytime Fitness, Adidas, Google, The Permanente Medical Group, and The University of Vermont Health Network. Recently, she has advised companies designing AI and other digital and coaching approaches for patient and consumer health. A sought-after speaker and trainer, Michelle is frequently interviewed in major media outlets like The New York Times, NPR, Prevention, Fast Company, Self, Real Simple, Women’s Health, CNN, Newsy, and The Wall Street Journal

Her new book, THE JOY CHOICE (April 2022), showcases the exciting new science and method for breaking down all-or-nothing thinking and cultivating the in-the-moment decisions that support self-care, health, and well-being. 


Michelle Segar headshot

Sustainable Change in the Real World

Get Michelle’s fresh, science-based insights about how you can create changes in eating and exercise that are fun and flexible enough to survive real-world challenges.