Opening General Session
September 28, 2016 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Are We Sitting on our Theories? Searching for the Bigger Picture in Active Living
In sport and exercise psychology, we are usually interested in behaviour change. We may operate at different points along the translational spectrum, but we are still likely to want some application to behaviour change. Regarding physical activity for health (‘exercise’, ‘active living’), behaviour change is fundamental. Moreover, ‘physical activity’ is now centre-stage in public health policy and practice, including sitting less. We have come a long way! But have we made real progress in shifting population levels of different types of movement, including sitting? Probably (or even definitely) not! So, what can psychologists learn from this? In this keynote presentation Biddle will challenge some of the common approaches in ‘exercise psychology’ and suggest we take a wider public health approach. Specifically, he will outline a ‘movement continuum’, from sleep through sedentary behaviour to light, moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity, and will address why the contexts in which such behaviours might take place are important.
Biddle will summarise evidence on the correlates of different movement behaviours, and remind us of the popular theoretical approaches typically adopted in ‘exercise psychology’. Additional perspectives will be outlined, including habit- and nudge-based frameworks, less conscious approaches, as well as the highly useful ‘behaviour change wheel’. An analysis of behaviour change techniques and possible intervention solutions will be presented. He will conclude that ‘exercise psychology’ needs to look beyond just psychology, stop being wedded to certain theories, and think more about how to make movement more accessible, with more positive affective outcomes, and easier to do.