Earlier this year, we invited ISPAH members to participate in a survey. The aim of the survey was to understand what our members valued about being an ISPAH member, and how ISPAH could best support professionals working in physical activity and health moving forward. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to complete the ISPAH membership survey, and are pleased to provide you with a summary of the findings.
We received 74 respondents in total. Overall, 77% of respondents were ISPAH members, and half have been members for 5 years or more. The majority of survey respondents were people who live and work in high-income countries, with one-third of respondents living and working in middle-income countries. Eight out of ten respondents worked in academia and had more than six years expertise in the field of physical activity and health.
The top motivating factors for becoming an ISPAH member included:
- receiving a reduced registration fee for the ISPAH Congress;
- networking and international collaboration;
- being part of a professional association; and
- prospects for collaboration around shared research interests.
The membership benefits that were considered extremely valuable included:
- Free access and a reduced price for open access publications in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health – JPAH;
- ISPAH Congress awards for low- and middle-income countries;
- Full access to educational opportunities;
- Access to ISPAH councils and regional networks; and
- Exclusive access to the members’ area and membership directory on the ISPAH website.
Half of the responding members were part of at least one of the five ISPAH Councils; the most valuable activities generated from their participation in the Councils were networking, webinars, research collaboration, and capacity building.
Moving forward, the ISPAH board are committed to maintaining and enhancing these benefits that respondents identified as extremely valuable.
We asked respondents to tell us what ISPAH could do more of to support its members in the future, and we received some excellent suggestions. These have been circulated to our executive committee and councils for consideration. In summary, respondents suggested developing a platform to support networking, physical activity advocacy, international collaborations, discussion of current physical activity topics and, build local, regional and global capacity.
Because of their favourable experiences, seven out of ten respondents said they would recommend becoming an ISPAH member to their colleagues.
Thanks again for sharing with us your preferences and suggestions. We will continue working hard to improve and expand the work of the Society and to provide you with an excellent membership experience.
Author: Andrea Ramirez Varela
Member Engagement Lead, ISPAH Board of Directors