Public Health Perspectives on Motivation and Behavior Change in Physical Activity

Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: and Vergeer, Ineke ORCID: (2019) Public Health Perspectives on Motivation and Behavior Change in Physical Activity. In: Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc., Champaign, United States, pp. 333-350. ISBN 9781492528920


This chapter addresses behavior change for physical activity, mainly from a public health perspective. We briefly cover established concepts, theories and frameworks before outlining some important contemporary approaches, identifying knowledge gaps, and suggesting future research directions. Physical activity is best seen within a movement continuum ranging from sedentary behavior to highly vigorous activity. Such diverse movement behaviors take place in various contexts. Moreover, it is argued that conventional social cognitive theories of motivation may not be sufficient for understanding physical activity from a public health standpoint. Wider social and environmental considerations are also required in adopting an integrative theoretical approach and promoting physical activity at the population level. In addition, we need to recognize that people operate both reflective and more automatic forms of motivation, the latter requiring greater understanding in the physical activity context. Understanding notions of habit, and the nudging of behavior, are important considerations in this field. A team science approach is required to shift population levels of physical activity, with psychologists playing an important role concerning behavior change.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2022 22:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: physical activity, psychology, public health
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health
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