Dr. Segar is recognized for her interdisciplinary research on creating sustainable self-care behaviors with an emphasis on physical activity, goals, and the influential role that gender roles and social norms exert on motivation, self-regulation, and behavior change.
She is interested in the ways in which messages influence people’s healthy behavior decision- making, and develops and evaluates digital interventions for health behaviors. Her multidisciplinary 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.
Dr. Segar’s translational research is widely recognized as relevant and practical around the world. She was named inaugural chair of the United States National Physical Activity Plan’s Communication Committee, has been a speaker for the World Health Organization, was an adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services, and was past director of the University of Michigan’s Sports, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center.
Dr. Segar was selected to deliver a Presidential Lecture at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual conference (Denver, June, 2017), the Illinois State University’s School of Kinesiology’s annual Esther Larson McGinnis (ELM) Scholar Lecture (October, 2019) and chosen for a Distinguished Lecture at Kansas State University’s Kinesiology Department (February, 2019).
Dr. Segar has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Association of University Women, and the American College of Sports Medicine, among others. Her research has generated accolades from organizations such as the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the North American Menopause Society, and the State of Michigan's Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports. She speaks to academic, industry, and lay audiences sharing the latest science about what methods and messages underlie sustainable behavior change.
Her scholarly books are written to be understandable across audiences. Her first book, NO SWEAT! (Amacom, 2015), explains the societal norms and gender pressures that inhibit exercising and the science and method for converting exercise from a chore into a gift, creating the high-quality and stable motivation that underlies long-term participation. It is being used as a core text in training professionals in health coaching and patient counseling. Her second book, THE JOY CHOICE: HOW TO FINALLY ACHIEVE LASTING CHANGES IN EATING AND EXERCISE (Hachette Go, 2022) describes the emerging science about role of executive functioning in creating the consistent decision making that favors on-going healthy eating and physical activity.