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Call for Abstracts
2017 Active Living Research Annual Conference

Active Living Research (ALR) invites abstracts to be considered for presentation at the 2017 Annual Conference on February 26 - March 1 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The theme of the 2017 conference, “Active Living across the Life Span”, places emphasis on the importance of promoting physical activity throughout the life-course, from childhood through mature adulthood, for optimal health and quality of life. The theme challenges us to consider the myriad of needs across age cohorts and how age affects opportunities for intervention and key settings for implementation. Life-course research and practice/policy examples can inform us about effective approaches to creating environments, policies, and programs to support active lifestyles throughout life, and can also help identify which interventions are appropriate for all ages and which need to be tailored.

Research and Practice/Policy Focus Areas

Our aim is to make the ALR conference the premier venue for policy-relevant research and cross sector exchange between scientists, practitioners and policy makers on how to create and sustain active living environments. The 2017 conference agenda will have two focus areas: 1) research and 2) practice/policy. The goal of including two focus areas is to encourage a broad audience to attend the conference and provide more opportunities for exchange on how to use evidence to increase physical activity in many settings. It is anticipated that the program will be comprised of approximately 2/3 research-oriented and 1/3 practice/policy-oriented presentations, with overlap welcomed. Research and practice/policy presentations will be integrated and organized by topic area.

General Guidelines

Abstracts related to active living environments and policies in all settings are invited for submission. We particularly encourage abstracts related to the conference theme and abstracts on research and practice/policies that inform strategies for increasing physical activity among racially and ethnically diverse populations and those living in lower-income communities who are at greatest risk for physical inactivity and its related diseases. Abstracts describing research results, program evaluations, methodological advances, translation of research to practice and policy, promising practices and policy innovations on all topics related to active living policies and environments are welcome, as are abstracts with an international focus. Progress towards creating more activity-friendly communities requires learning across many disciplines, so abstracts from all fields of research and practice will be considered. Abstracts focused solely on behavior change at the individual level and studies related to obesity treatments will not be accepted.

Abstract Submission Types
Abstracts can be submitted under the following three categories described below: 1) Workshop; 2) Research; or 3) Practice/Policy.


The deadline for Workshop abstract submissions is now closed.

Workshops for researchers (e.g., methods, statistics) and practitioners (e.g., use of measures or tools, dissemination, case studies of community change, translation or scalability of findings to inform policy and practice) are encouraged. Proposed sessions should be interactive and include clear learning objectives. Attendance will be limited to allow presenters to engage the audience as much as possible. Your abstract should explicitly describe the interactive features of your workshop. A panel of presenters with time for discussion does not qualify as an interactive workshop.

Workshops can be proposed for either 1.5 or 3-hour formats. It is anticipated that most of the workshops selected will be 1.5 hours. If you submit a proposal for the 3-hour format, you should provide a justification for the length and a breakdown for how the time will be used. In some cases the review committee may suggest a shorter format and/or provide other input for consideration. Approximately 12-15 workshops will be accepted. 

Workshop abstracts should contain the following headings: Workshop Description, Learning Objectives (2-4 suggested), Interactive Features, and References (if applicable).


Research focused abstracts should describe research that is related to policy and environmental aspects of active living or obesity. Methodological, correlational, intervention, "natural experiment," economic, and policy research studies are encouraged. Abstracts presenting innovative conceptual papers and reviews will also be considered, including those with a focus on translating active living research into practice and policy. If you do not have complete results to report in your abstract, please include a note to reviewers about the timeline for finalizing data analysis.

Research abstracts should contain the following headings: Background and Purpose, Objectives, Methods (including type of data collected), Results, Conclusions, Implications for Practice and Policy, References (if applicable),and Support/Funding Source (if applicable).


Practice/Policy focused abstracts should describe programs, interventions, case studies, policy or advocacy impacts, or new resources that are related to environmental aspects of active living or obesity prevention (e.g., how evidence-based research was translated into successful adoption or implementation of policy). Efforts that resulted from multi-sector participation, applied previous research, or included evaluation are particularly encouraged.

Practice/policy focused abstracts should contain the following headings: Background and Purpose, Description (including how research was used to guide the program or policy, if applicable), Lessons Learned (including any evaluation results), Conclusions and Implications, Next Steps (including how the program or policy could be informed by research and evaluation, if applicable), References (if applicable), and Support/Funding Source (if applicable).

Research and Practice/Policy Presentation Types

Abstracts submitted to the Research and Practice/Policy categories will be considered for the following three presentation types:

Oral Presentation – Authors selected for an oral presentation will present during 90-minute concurrent sessions. There will be a total of three concurrent sessions scheduled in separate rooms with 4 speakers and a session chair assigned to each room. Session assignments will be made based on abstract topic, and each presenter will have a total of 20 minutes for presentation and Q&A. Forty-eight concurrent oral presentations will be selected from the Research and Practice/Policy submissions.

Speed Oral Presentation – Authors selected for a speed oral presentation will deliver brief presentations during concurrent sessions. There will be a total of three concurrent hour-long sessions scheduled in separate rooms with 4-5 speakers and a session chair assigned to each room.  Session assignments will be made based on abstract topic and each presenter will have a total of 8 minutes for presentation and Q&A. Twenty-seven concurrent speed oral presentations will be selected from the Research and Practice/Policy submissions.  

Poster – Authors will display selected posters during one of two sessions devoted exclusively to poster viewing with no competing programming. The poster sessions are well attended and provide an effective mechanism for dissemination and networking. Approximately 150 posters will be selected from the Research and Practice/Policy submissions.  

Abstract Submission & Review Process

Authors must submit abstracts electronically through the online submission system by the deadlines listed above and are required to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Abstracts must follow the format suggested.
  • The body of the abstract for all submission types is limited to 450 words.
    1. Word limit includes headings and excludes title and author block.
  • There is no limit on the number of abstracts an author may submit.
  • Submitted abstracts should not be accepted or in press at the time of abstract submission, but they can be submitted for publication.
  • No late submissions will be accepted.

Once the abstracts is accepted, at least one of the authors must register for and present at the conference.

All applicants will use the same link to access the online submission system and will be prompted to select the appropriate submission type. Abstracts will undergo blind review by a panel from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. Selection for presentation is based on the quality of the research or program, clarity of the abstract, relevance to the mission of ALR and adherence to the guidelines. Presentation type (Oral, Speed Oral or Poster) for Research and Practice/Policy abstracts is determined by review score and reviewer recommendation. Expenses associated with the submission, preparation, and presentation of the abstract are the responsibility of the presenters. Decisions regarding acceptance will be made by early-November and the submitting author will be notified via email by Elsevier.

Journal Special Theme Sections 
We are in the process of identifying 4-5 journals across multiple sectors to develop a series of special theme sections focused on active living research, practice and policy. If partnerships with these journals are achieved, approximately 12-15 of the abstracts selected for presentation at the conference will be invited to submit papers for inclusion in a special theme section. The tentative topic areas include: 1) Community, Policy, and Health Disparities; 2) Parks and Recreation; 3) Public Health; 4) Schools and After School; and 5) Transportation and Land Use. Papers will be invited for a full manuscript or a brief report, depending on the complexity of the topic. All abstractsare eligible for consideration. Authors who are invited to submit a paper will be asked to commit to develop and submit a manuscript no later than March 24, 2017.

If you have questions that have not been addressed in this call for abstracts, please contact (Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances).


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