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18 February 2011

Focus on how to get fit, not why

Healthy adults who received interventions focused on behaviour-changing strategies significantly increased their physical activity levels, new research found.

Most people know that exercise is important to maintain and improve health; however, sedentary lifestyles and obesity rates are at all-time highs and have become major issues.

In a new study, University of Missouri (US) researchers found that healthy adults who received interventions focused on behaviour-changing strategies significantly increased their physical activity levels. Conversely, interventions based on cognitive approaches, which try to change knowledge and attitudes, did not increase physical activity.

"The focus needs to shift from increasing knowledge about the benefits of exercise to discussing strategies to change behaviours and increase activity levels," said Conn. "The common approach is to try and change people's attitudes or beliefs about exercise and why it's important, but that information isn't motivating. We can't 'think' ourselves into being more active."

 
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