As the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (JPAH) enters adulthood, it is time to reflect on the journal’s achievements so far and to consider the challenges ahead. JPAH was conceived to be the home for high-quality science in the field of physical activity and health. The journal’s infancy, childhood, and adolescence passed in the blink of an eye. By the end of its second year of publication in 2005, JPAH had received 100 submissions and was publishing 30 articles per year. It now receives more than 800 articles and publishes around 150 manuscripts per year. JPAH’s impact factor also rose rapidly, topping 2.0. Over the lifecourse, JPAH established sustainable and strong relationships with its younger siblings: the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) and the International Congress of Physical Activity and Public Health (ICPAPH), now known as the ISPAH Congress. These three interconnected, but independent, entities currently represent the scientific pillars of the field of physical activity and health worldwide.

In 2021, JPAH celebrates its 18th anniversary with a priority to go global. Starting in 2021, for the first time in the journal’s history, the Editor-in-Chief is based outside the United States. I work at the Federal University of Pelotas, in the extreme South of Brazil. My team of six Senior Associate Editors makes crystal clear how global JPAH intends to be: Adewale Oyeyemi works at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria. Alejandra Jauregui comes from the Mexican National Institute of Public Health, while the Mexican-born Deborah Salvo now works at Washington University in St. Louis, United States. The Brazilian Gregore Mielke is based at the University of Queensland, Australia. Lisa Cadmus-Bertram works for the University of Wisconsin, Madison, United States. Tracy Kolbe-Alexander is South African, and is now based at the University of South Queensland, Australia. It is no coincidence that our group of seven researchers includes three men and four women. It is also not by chance that diverse ethnic, geographical, and language backgrounds are represented.

But there is one more challenge for JPAH’s future that I need to share with our community. As a Brazilian, I am obviously a football/soccer fan, and there is a saying here that “we should not change a team that is winning.” JPAH is experiencing a winning streak, and therefore, my goal as JPAH’s Editor-in-Chief is to maintain the momentum and continue running in the right direction. Going global is a key priority, but upholding the scientific quality of the journal is as important. We will therefore focus on rigorously screening submitted articles while shortening peer-review and publication times.

In contemporary society, however, going global will only become reality if we pay extra attention to the public dissemination of research published in JPAH. Therefore, we will widely disseminate articles throughout social media, as well as aim to provide more promotion for JPAH articles through media releases. Authors will be prompted to record and share short videos talking about the scientific articles published in the journal.

In a time when the world is experiencing the devastating pandemic of COVID-19, we must never forget that back in 2012, Kohl and colleagues1 wrote a seminal piece on the pandemic of physical inactivity, a risk factor that causes over 5 million deaths per year worldwide.2 During and after the COVID-19 crisis, tackling physical inactivity will continue to be one of most important and least funded public health priorities worldwide. Changing this scenario is part of our mission.

References

  • 1.

    Kohl HW 3rd, Craig CL, Lambert EV, et al. The pandemic of physical inactivity: global action for public health. Lancet. 2012;380(9838):11. PubMed ID: 22818941 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60898-8

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  • 2.

    Lee IM, Shiroma EJ, Lobelo F, et al. Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet. 2012;380(9838):219229. PubMed ID: 22818936 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61031-9

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Hallal (prchallal@gmail.com) is the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. He is with the School of Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil.

  • 1.

    Kohl HW 3rd, Craig CL, Lambert EV, et al. The pandemic of physical inactivity: global action for public health. Lancet. 2012;380(9838):11. PubMed ID: 22818941 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60898-8

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Lee IM, Shiroma EJ, Lobelo F, et al. Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet. 2012;380(9838):219229. PubMed ID: 22818936 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61031-9

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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