CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo

Physical Activity

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now

Submission Deadline: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The American Public Health Association (APHA) Physical Activity Section is comprised of over 640 physical activity practitioners, researchers, advocates, partners, and students committed to advocating for the importance of physical activity in public health and public policy.  Our section began as a Special Interest Group (SPIG) in 2009 and was formally recognized as a full Member Section in 2012.  A strong, engaged, and growing leadership team, including 12 distinct committees, guides the development and operation of the section as a service to all section and APHA members.  In 2017, the Physical Activity Section was recognized as a National Public Health Week All-Star and received the Outstanding Collaborator Award.  We look forward to continuing to build a movement around physical activity with your help in 2018. 

We welcome submissions related to all areas of physical activity and public health; however, abstracts that report impact and outcome evaluation results of community-based physical activity interventions for vulnerable populations and/or highlight the theme of the 2018 meeting will be given priority.  Topics of particular interest for 2018 are listed below; nevertheless, general topics in the area of physical activity and public health will also be considered.

  • 1. The relationship of physical activity with health equity and related outcomes
    • The relationship of physical activity with health equity and related outcomes, including physical activity research and interventions in at-risk populations (i.e., disabled and aging populations; youth; immigrants, migrant, or international populations; medically complex populations; individuals living with mental illness), or with respect to environmental health, rural health, and/or gender/identity
  • 2. Advances in science and methodology in physical activity research
  • 3. Community clinical linkages to physical activity, including physical activity research and innovations with demonstrated success in reduction of health disparities and/or evidence
  • 4. Built environment and active transportation research to improve physical activity or reduce sedentary behavior
  • 5. Progress toward national goals surrounding physical activity participation, reduction of sedentary behavior, and development of activity-supporting communities, with a focus on physical activity policy
  • Business Meeting
Abstract Format:

Abstracts should be no less than 200 words and no more than 250 words.

Please include the following elements in each abstract:

  • Type of presentation preferred (oral, poster, or no preference)
  • Three (3) measurable objectives
  • For consideration of the Student Presentation Awards, please indicate if the first author is a student (see eligibility below)
  • Introduction or Background: Study objectives, hypothesis, or a description of the problem;
  • Methods: Study design, including a description of participants, procedures, measures, and appropriate analyses (for both quantitative and qualitative research);
  • Results: Specific results in summary form; and
  • Conclusion/Discussion: Description of the main outcome of the study and importance/significance of the work. 

Abstract submissions can contain no mention of commercial entities or authors/faculty for purposes of a masked review. 

Submission and Review: 

All abstracts must be submitted electronically using the APHA Meeting website by the date published on the APHA website for the Physical Activity Section. Late, faxed, and email submissions cannot be accepted. APHA will send email notices of acceptance to abstract authors in early June 2018. All abstracts are subject to masked peer review by at least three reviewers. Please remove any references to a specific institution in the body of the abstract to permit masked review and ensure fairness. By submitting an abstract proposal, the author(s) agree that, if accepted, the paper will be presented as scheduled. 

Please note: per APHA policy, if unable to present, presenters must withdraw submissions by August 1, 2018, in order to avoid a three year probationary period.

APHA Physical Activity Section 2018 Student Presentation Award

An award will be given for the most outstanding student oral and poster presentations that are submitted to the PA section and related to at least one of the Physical Activity Section topics of interest (please see above) in the Call for Abstracts.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Student member (undergraduate, masters, doctoral) of the APHA Physical Activity Section at the time of submission.
  • Student should be the first author on the abstract.
  • Abstract should be based on independent research of the student.

The awards committee will select up to three nominees for each for the oral and poster presentation award. A panel of Physical Activity Section Leadership Team members will attend the poster sessions to judge these students’ presentations.

The presentations will be rated on a set of criteria including: presentation style, content, quality of contribution to the literature/impact, quality of data and methodology. The nominees will be recognized at the Physical Activity Section social event at the annual meeting. The award winners will be announced online at the end of the conference.

All student submissions will be considered for these awards. No separate submission is necessary, but please indicate if the first author is a student, as noted above under Abstract Format.

APHA Physical Activity Section 2017 Steven P. Hooker Research Award

An award will be given for the most outstanding research abstract that is submitted to the PA section and is related to at least one of the Physical Activity Section topics of interest (please see above) in the Call for Abstracts. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Member (Regular, Student, Early Career Professional, Retired, Special Health Worker) of the APHA Physical Activity Section
  • Candidate should be the first author on the abstract.

 The awards committee will rate the abstracts on a set of criteria including: content, quality of contribution to the literature/impact, quality of data and methodology. The award winner will be announced prior to the annual meeting and recognized at the Physical Activity Section social event at the annual meeting.

All submissions to the Physical Activity Section will be considered and will be based upon both abstract scores and the above noted judging criteria.

Continuing Education Credit

APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant, and/or faculty must provide:

  • an abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names;
  • At least onemeasurable learning outcome, which must include one of the following action words: explain, demonstrate, analyze, formulate, discuss, compare, differentiate, describe, name, assess, evaluate, identify, design, define, or list.  Note: “to understand” or “to learn” are not measurable objectives.
  • A signed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with a relevant qualification statement; Example of Acceptable Biographical Qualification Statement: (i.e., “I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.”)
  • All continuing education learning content must be of sound science or professional practice and serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of the health professional.  Learning content should be evidence-based if available. A list of over 30 areas will be provided online for you to choose from. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to 6 areas that your presentation will address.

 Thank you for your assistance in making your session credit worthy. Contact Annette Ferebee at if you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planner below.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Derek C. Herrmann, MPH(c)
Indiana University School of Public Health, Eppley Institute
1025 E. 7th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812-855-5282

Carissa Smock, PhD, MPH
Center for Child Health Policy, Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
Case Western Reserve University
11100 Euclid Avenue MS 6036
Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: 419-348-4157