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Sabbatical Filip Boen: Physical activity as a social cure

In July 2017, I organized the First International Conference on Social Identity and Sport (ICSIS1) in Leuven together with Prof. Katrien Fransen and Prof. Alex Haslam (University of Queensland, Australia). During ICSIS1, we brought together more than 60 researchers from different continents for the first time, looking at sports and physical activity from the increasingly influential social identity approach. In the meantime, several follow-up conferences have already been held and planned, and ICSIS1 has produced a new handbook, 'The new psychology of sport and exercise: A social identity approach', which was published by Sage in 2020 and of which I am co-editor. In recent years, within the Leading Insights research team (www.leadinginsights.be), we have developed increasingly closer ties with the internationally renowned research team of Alex and Catherine Haslam. Initially, the collaboration focused mainly on research into improving the functioning and performance of sports teams through leadership development programs. Since the publication of their groundbreaking book 'The new psychology of health: Unlocking the social cure' in 2018, we have also started working together on applying the social identity approach to improving health and mental wellbeing. As target groups we use both elite athletes (for example at the end of their sports career) and the wider population (for example by improving group processes within walking groups of the elderly). It is my intention to further develop this line of research during my sabbatical and to better link it to the promotion of health-promoting physical activity, especially through the further elaboration and submission of research projects together with partners within and outside KU Leuven who are involved in this Social Cure. working approach. If the COVID situation allows, I will spend a few shorter study stays at those partner institutions, or at least deepen our network by attending the numerous (catch-up) conferences planned in the first half of 2022

Date:1 Feb 2022 →  1 Aug 2022
Keywords:social cure, physical activity, social identity
Disciplines:Sports psychology, Group and interpersonal processes