Evaluation of the Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

From 1995–2013, an 8-day Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers has been offered yearly in the United States.

Methods:

In 2013, an evaluation quantified time that fellows spent in different course offerings, surveyed fellows on course impact, documented grant funding, and identified fellow participation on leading physical activity-related journals.

Results:

The number of fellows that attended the course ranged from 20 per year to 35 per year. Fellows who participated in the web survey (n = 322) agreed that the course: met their expectations (99%), had a positive impact on the physical activity research or practice work they did (98%), and helped increase their professional networking in the field (93%). Following the course, 73% of fellows had further contact with course faculty and 71% had further contact with other fellows. From the National Institutes of Health, 117 grants were awarded to 82 fellows (21% of eligible fellows). Out of 14 journals reviewed, 11 had at least 1 fellow on their staff as editor, associate editor, or editorial board member.

Conclusion:

The Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers helps address a training need by providing instruction and building capacity in the US and abroad for conducting research on physical activity and public health.

Evenson (kelly_evenson@unc.edu) and Camplain are with the Dept of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Evenson is also with the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Dorn and Brown are with the Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Pate is with the Dept of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.