Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Volume 18 (2021): Issue 10 (Oct 2021)

JPAH JIF: 2.592The Journal of Physical Activity and Health (JPAH) is the official journal of the International Society for Physical Activity and HealthJPAH publishes original research and review papers examining the relationship between physical activity and health, studying physical activity as an exposure as well as an outcome. As an exposure, the journal publishes articles examining how physical activity influences all aspects of health. As an outcome, the journal invites papers that examine the behavioral, community, and environmental interventions that may affect physical activity on an individual and/or population basis. JPAH is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published for researchers in fields of chronic disease (e.g., cancer, heart disease, mental health, weight control, neurologic deficits, etc.) in which physical activity may play a role in prevention, treatment, or rehabilitation. 


It is the mission of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (JPAH) to be the primary global outlet for information relevant to the science and practice of physical activity as it relates to health and health outcomes.

JPAH is peer reviewed and publishes original research and practice reports as well as review papers. Of interest is work studying the role of physical activity as it relates to health as well as reports of efforts to increase physical activity on individual and community levels. JPAH is an interdisciplinary journal published for researchers and practitioners in fields of disease and injury prevention and control where physical activity may play a vital role. JPAH also devotes attention to original research and reports on issues related to physical activity assessment, surveillance, and practice.




Pedro C. Hallal
Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil

Editors-in-Chief Emeriti

Steven N. Blair, University of South Carolina, USA (Founding Editor)
James R. Morrow, Jr., University of North Texas, USA (Founding Editor)
Jennifer M. Hootman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Harold W. Kohl III, University of Texas–Austin, USA
Loretta DiPietro, George Washington University, USA 

Senior Associate Editors

Ruth Hunter
Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland

Alejandra Jauregui
Mexican National Institute of Public Health, Mexico

Tracy Kolbe-Alexander
University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich, Australia

Gregore Mielke
The University of Queensland, Australia

Adewale L. Oyeyemi
University of Maiduguri, Nigeria

Deborah Salvo
Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Esther van Sluijs
University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

David R. Bassett, Jr., University of Tennessee, USA

Ross C. Brownson, Washington University, USA

Ulf Ekelund, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Norway

Kelly R. Evenson, University of North Carolina, USA

Shifalika Goenka, Public Health Foundation of India, India

Maria Hagströmer, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

William Haskell, Stanford University, USA

Shigeru Inoue, Tokyo Medical University, Japan

Thomas J. Kane, Washington D.C., USA

Abby C. King, Stanford University, USA

Amy Latimer-Cheung, Queen’s University, Canada

Jay Maddock, Texas A&M University, USA

Ronald Plotnikoff, University of Newcastle, Australia

Rodrigo Reis, Washington University, USA

David Rowe, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Grant Schofield, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Pamela A. Semanik, Northwestern University, USA

Richard P. Troiano, National Cancer Institute, USA

Catrine Tudor-Locke, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

Mireille van Poppel, University of Graz, Austria

Social Media Manager and Editorial Administrator
Emily Cox, University of Newcastle, Australia

Human Kinetics Staff
Doug Hoepker, Senior Journals Managing Editor

Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Authors must submit their manuscripts through the journal’s ScholarOne online submission system. To submit, click the button below:

Submit a Manuscript

Authorship Guidelines

The Journals Division at Human Kinetics adheres to the criteria for authorship as outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors*:

Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to:

a. Conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data; and
b. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
c. Final approval of the version to be published.

Conditions a, b, and c must all be met. Individuals who do not meet the above criteria may be listed in the acknowledgments section of the manuscript. *Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. (1991). New England Journal of Medicine, 324, 424–428.

Open Access

Human Kinetics is pleased to allow our authors the option of having their articles published Open Access. In order for an article to be published Open Access, authors must complete and return the Request for Open Access form and provide payment for this option. To learn more and request Open Access, click here.

Manuscript Guidelines

JPAH is a peer-reviewed journal. Manuscripts reporting Original Research, Public Health Practice, Technical Notes, Brief Reports, or Reviews will be reviewed by at least two reviewers with expertise in the topical field, and the review process usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. A double-blind method is used for the review process, meaning authors and reviewers remain unknown to each other.

All types of manuscripts submitted to JPAH are judged on the following primary criteria: adherence to accepted scientific principles and methods, the significant or novel contribution to research or practice in the field of physical activity, clarity and conciseness of writing, and interest to the readership. There are no page charges to contributors.

Manuscripts generally should not exceed 25 pages (~5,000 words including everything except title and abstract pages, tables, figure legends, and online-only supplementary materials; the word limit includes the reference section). Reviews should not exceed a total of 30 pages and Brief Reports should not exceed 15 pages. Major exceptions to these criteria must be approved through the Editorial Office before submission. Submissions should not include more than 10 tables/graphics, and should follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (visit ICMJE for more detail). JPAH welcomes and encourages the submission of supplementary materials to be included with the article. These files are placed online and can be accessed from the JPAH website. Supplemental material can include relevant appendices, tables, details of the methods (e.g., survey instruments), or images. Contact the Editorial Office for approval of any supplemental materials.

Standardized Publication Reporting Guides

JPAH highly recommends that authors refer to relevant published reporting guidelines for different types of research studies. Examples of reporting guidelines include:

  • Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)
  • Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE)
  • Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)
  • STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE)
  • Improving the Quality of Web Surveys: The Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES)

Manuscripts must be submitted in Microsoft Word® (*.doc) or rich text (*.rtf) format only. Do not submit a .pdf file. Graphics should be submitted in .tif or .jpg formats only. Before submitting, authors should complete the Manuscript Submission Checklist (see below). Authors may be asked to provide Human Kinetics with photo-ready graphics and/or a hard copy of the text. Authors are responsible for confirming the accuracy of the final copy, particularly the accuracy of references, and to retain a duplicate copy to guard against loss. Final review of the pre-published text is the responsibility of the authors. Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication must transfer copyright to Human Kinetics, as applicable.

Cover Letter

Submissions must include a cover letter stating that the manuscript has not been previously published (except in abstract form), is not presently under consideration by another journal, and will not be submitted to another journal before a final editorial decision from JPAH is rendered. Full names, institutional affiliations, and email addresses of all authors, as well as the full mailing address, telephone number, and fax number of the corresponding author, must be provided. Authors must also provide a statement disclosing any relevant financial interests related to the research. 

Manuscript Types

Original Research

A manuscript describing the methods and results of a research study (quantitative or qualitative), including the background and purpose of the study, a detailed description of the research design and methods, clear and comprehensive presentation of results, and discussion of the salient findings.

Public Health Practice

A manuscript describing the development or evaluation of a public health intervention to increase or promote physical activity in a community setting, or a study that describes translation of research to practice.

Technical Note

A short article that presents results related to a new or modified method or instrument related to physical activity measurement or an important experimental observation.

Brief Reports

A short article (15 or fewer pages), usually presenting the preliminary or novel results of an original research study or public health practice program.


Manuscripts that succinctly review the scientific literature on a specific topic. Traditional narrative reviews are discouraged. However, well-conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses are highly encouraged. The Editorial Office may recruit reviews on specific topics. All review articles must have approval from the Editorial Office prior to submission.

Manuscript Sections

The order of submission must be (1) Title page, (2) Abstract, (3) Text, (4) Acknowledgments, (5) Funding source, (6) References, (7) Tables, (8) Figures/Graphics.

Title Page

The manuscript must include a title page that provides the full title, a brief running head, manuscript type (see definitions above), three to five key words not used in the title of the manuscript, abstract word count, manuscript word count (inclusive of all pages except the abstract and title page), date of manuscript submission, and full names of authors, their institutional or corporate affiliations, and e-mail addresses.


All manuscripts must have a structured abstract of no more than 200 words. Required headings are (1) Background, (2) Methods, (3) Results, and (4) Conclusions.


The entire manuscript must be double-spaced, including the abstract, references, and tables. Line numbers are not needed. A brief running head is to be included on the upper right corner of each page; page numbers must appear on the bottom right corner of each page.

For studies involving human subjects, the Methods section must include statements regarding institutional approval of the protocol and obtaining informed consent. For studies using animals, the Methods section must include a statement regarding institutional approval and compliance with governmental policies and regulations regarding animal welfare.


Provide the names, affiliations, and the nature of the contribution for all persons not included as an author who played a critical role in the study.

Funding Source/Trial Registration

Details of all funding sources for the work should be provided (including agency name, grant numbers, etc.). Provide the registry name and registration number for all clinical trials (see JPAH Ethics Policies below).

Example: “This work was supported by a grant (grant #) from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. This study is registered at (No. xxxxx).”


For reference lists, authors must follow the guidelines found in the American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th ed.). Examples of reference style:

Journal articles: Surname of first author, initials, then surname and initials of each coauthor; title of article (capitalize only the first word and proper nouns), name of the journal (italicized and abbreviated according to style of Index Medicus), year, volume, and inclusive page numbers.

Melby CL, Osterberg K, Resch A, Davy B, Johnson S, Davy K. Effect of carbohydrate ingestion during exercise on post-exercise substrate oxidation and energy intake. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002;12:294–309.

Book references: Author(s) as above, title of book (italicized and all major words capitalized), city and state/province of publication, publisher, and year.

Pearl AJ. The Female Athlete. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics; 1993.

Chapter in an edited book: Same as book references, but add the name of the chapter author(s) and title of chapter (capitalize first word and proper nouns) before the book information and inclusive page numbers.

Perrin DH. The evaluation process in rehabilitation. In: Prentice WE, ed. Rehabilitation Techniques in Sports Medicine. 2nd ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby Year Book; 1994:253–276.


Each table must be accompanied by an explanatory title so that it is intelligible without specific reference to the text. Column headings and all units of measure must be labeled clearly within each table; abbreviations and acronyms must be fully explained in the table or footnotes without reference to the text.


Graphics should be prepared with clean, crisp lines, and be camera-ready. For shading, stripe patterns or solids (black and white) are better choices than colors. Graphics created on standard computer programs will be accepted. Graphics should be submitted in .tif or .jpg formats only. Each figure and photo must be properly identified. A hard copy may be requested. If photos are used, they should be black and white, clear, and show good contrast.

Manuscript Submission Checklist

Before submitting a first or revised manuscript, the following criteria must be met:

  • All sections are double-spaced
  • Page numbers appear in bottom right corner
  • Brief running head appears in upper right corner
  • Abstract is formatted and contains fewer than 200 words
  • Page count under limit for the manuscript type (15, 25, or 30 pages)
  • Fewer than 10 tables/figures
  • References are formatted per AMA guidelines

Submitting Author Revisions

Authors often submit their responses to reviewer comments and the modifications in the manuscript in a variety of different ways, making it quite difficult for reviewers and the Senior Associate Editors to review revisions. When submitting a revised manuscript, the author must be certain to answer all reviewer questions, comments, and concerns by including a separate response document in addition to the revised manuscript. The response document should follow the format of the Revision Template, including the reviewer comment, the author response, and the modification made to the revised manuscript (including page and line number). All modifications to the manuscript should be highlighted in yellow. Authors NOT following these guidelines when submitting their revision will have their manuscript rejected from further consideration.

Notice to Authors Wishing to Submit to JPAH

The Journal of Physical Activity and Health is becoming increasingly competitive. We continue to receive many more manuscripts than we can possibly publish. Therefore, in order to reduce any delay in publishing the best science, the following guidelines should be considered prior to submitting a manuscript.

The following types of manuscripts will be given the lowest priority and are the most likely to be rejected without review:

  • Small, cross-sectional, descriptive studies without any innovative features (e.g., the association between physical activity and body mass index)
  • Pilot studies
  • Studies having no control or reference group
  • Studies in which physical activity is merely a covariable of interest
  • Methodological studies with no health-related outcome (e.g., associations among three types of accelerometers)

The types of studies given the highest priority are the following:

  • Etiologic or experimental studies testing a specific hypothesis or highlighting a specific mechanism relating physical activity or inactivity to health and function
  • Prospective or longitudinal studies
  • Evaluation studies of effective public health practice
  • Studies that are truly innovative and reflect progressive thinking 

JPAH Ethics Policies

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Council of Science Editors (CSE) are excellent sources of information regarding misconduct in scientific publication. JPAH ethics policies are modeled after guidance from these three organizations.

Authorship Criteria

As noted earlier, JPAH adheres to the criteria for authorship as outlined by the ICMJE. Each author must provide any relevant information upon request to substantiate their contributions.

Duplicate Publication

All manuscripts must not have been published previously in any format (internet website, journal, newsletter, etc.), with the exception of abstracts presented at scientific meetings.

Trial Registration

JPAH complies with the ICMJE requirement regarding registration of all prospective clinical trial studies prior to subject enrollment (to learn more visit ICMJE Clinical Trials Registration). The ICMJE defines a trial as “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.” Health-related interventions include behavioral treatments (e.g., physical activity).

Compliance With NIH Public Access Policy Requirements

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as other research funding agencies, require open access of all publications they fund. JPAH and Human Kinetics, Inc., will work with authors on a case-by-case basis to be compliant with NIH Public Access Policy.

Violations of Journal Ethics Policies

Falsification of data, duplicate publication, breach of confidentiality, abuse of research subjects, and so on are considered violations of the ethical conduct of research. JPAH reserves the right to investigate and impart punishment for any such violation. All allegations of potential misconduct will be investigated by the JPAH editorial team, Human Kinetics, Inc., and possibly external experts on a case-by-case basis and final decisions will be agreed upon by the Editors in consultation with the JPAH Editorial Board and guided by the COPE, ICMJE, and CSE standards.

Submit a Manuscript

Articles are to be submitted electronically via ScholarOne (see submission button at the top of this page). First-time authors will create an account by following the directions on the ScholarOne page. Authors will be asked to submit a “blinded” version of their article and a separate cover sheet with names, institutional affiliations, and contact information.

Please visit ScholarOne to download JPAH’s copyright form, located under the "Instructions & Forms" link in the upper right corner. You do not need an account to access this information.


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