Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Physical Activity Interventions

  • Rick LaCaille
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1618


Physical activity interventions primarily aim to encourage sedentary individuals or those at risk for chronic diseases to initiate and maintain healthy levels of activity. Secondary goals of interventions may include improved weight or disease management, enhanced psychological well-being and stress reduction, and better quality of life. There has been a recent concerted effort to examine changing multiple health behaviors (e.g., dietary, tobacco cessation) in combination with sedentary behaviors. Interventions are often evaluated in the context of a randomized clinical trial (efficacy trials) or quasi-experimental designs (effectiveness trials).


Recently, the US government released its first formal set of recommendations on physical activity (PA), the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2008), thereby establishing increasing PA as a significant health goal for the twenty-first century. In...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Abraham, C., & Michie, S. (2008). A taxonomy of behavior change techniques used in interventions. Health Psychology, 27, 379–387.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, L. M., Quinn, T. A., Glanz, K., Ramirez, G., Kahwati, L. C., Johnson, D. B., Buchanan, L. R., Archer, W. R., Chattopadhyay, S., Kalra, G. P., & Katz, D. L. (2009). The effectiveness of worksite nutrition and physical activity interventions for controlling employee overweight and obesity: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37, 340–357.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buckworth, J., & Dishman, R. K. (2002). Exercise psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  4. Fjeldsoe, B., Neuhaus, M., Winkler, E., & Eakin, E. (2011). Systematic review of maintenance of behavior change following physical activity and dietary interventions. Health Psychology, 30, 99–109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foster, C., Hillsdon, M., & Thorogood, M. (2005). Interventions for promoting physical activity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 25(1), Art. No.: CD003180Google Scholar
  6. Glasgow, R. E., Dzewaltowski, D. A., Estabrooks, P. A., Gaglio, B. A., King, D., & Klesges, L. (2010) RE-AIM. Retrieved June 22, 2011, from http://www.re-aim.org
  7. Hagberg, L. A., & Lindholm, L. (2006). Cost-effectiveness of healthcare-based interventions aimed at improving physical activity. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 34, 641–653.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Marcus, B. H., & Forsyth, L. A. (2009). Motivating people to be physically active (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  9. Marcus, B. H., Williams, D. M., Dubbert, P. M., Sallis, J. F., King, A. C., Yancey, A. K., Franklin, B. A., Buchner, D., Daniels, S. R., & Claytor, R. P. (2006). Physical activity intervention studies: What we know and what we need to know. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism (Subcommittee on Physical Activity); Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; and the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Circulation, 114, 2739–2752.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Michie, S., Abraham, C., Whittington, C., McAteer, J., & Gupta, S. (2009). Effective techniques in healthy eating and physical activity interventions: A meta-regression. Health Psychology, 28, 690–701.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Muller-Riemenschneider, F., Reinhold, T., Nocon, M., & Willich, S. (2008). Long-term effectiveness of interventions promoting physical activity: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 47, 354–368.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Muller-Riemenschneider, F., Reinhold, T., & Willich, S. N. (2009). Cost-effectiveness of interventions promoting physical activity. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43, 70–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). Physical activity guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  14. Vandelanotte, C., Spathonis, K. M., Eakin, E. G., & Owen, N. (2007). Website-delivered physical activity interventions: A review of the literature. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33, 54–64.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Williams, D. M., Matthews, C., Rutt, C., Napolitano, M. A., & Marcus, B. (2008). Interventions to increase walking behavior. Medicine and Science in Sports, and Exercise, 40, S567–S573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Zaza, S., Briss, P. A., & Harris, K. W. (2005). The guide to community preventive services: What works to promote health? New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Minnesota DuluthDuluthUSA