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A Healthy Lifestyle Begins In the Mind

A Healthy Lifestyle Begins In the MindNew research discovers the major limitation to performing exercise is an individual’s perception of his or her ability and desire to do it.

A study of 5,167 Canadians, reported in the open-access journal BMC Public Health, has shown that psychological concerns are the most important barriers to an active lifestyle.

Sai Yi Pan, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, led a team of researchers who carried out a study which examined data from a nationwide series of telephone interviews.

She said the “findings highlight the need for health promotion programs to enhance people’s confidence and motivation, as well as providing education on the health benefits of physical activity.”

One interview question asked participants how confident they were that they could regularly do a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (PA) three or four times a week and a total of 60 minutes of light PA each day.

This ‘self-efficacy’ score was consistently found to be related to higher PA across gender, age group, education level and family income level.

According to the authors, “Confidence in one’s personal ability to carry out exercise plays a central role in the direction, intensity and persistence of health-behavior change. People who have higher PA self-efficacy will perceive fewer barriers to PA, or be less influenced by them, and will be more likely to enjoy PA”.

Likewise, participants were asked to what extent they intended to be physically active over the next six months.

This ‘intention score’ was another important independent correlate of physical activity.

The strong effects of self-efficacy and intention on PA suggest that interventions designed to increase PA should target these factors.

The authors conclude that “[F]uture research is needed to identify how those influences can be optimally incorporated into interventions that will increase people’s belief in their ability and motivation/intention to be physically active.”

Source: BioMed Central

A Healthy Lifestyle Begins In the Mind

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). A Healthy Lifestyle Begins In the Mind. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/01/16/a-healthy-lifestyle-begins-in-the-mind/3651.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.