Physical Activity and Health: Current Research Trends and Critical Issues

Dawn K. Wilson, Nicole Zarrett, Heather Kitzman-Ulrich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The field of health psychology may offer unique theoretical and practical approaches for promoting physically active lifestyle changes. This chapter addresses relevant theoretical mediating and moderating factors ranging from cognitive, emotional, and physical to social and environmental influences on improving physical activity (PA) across the lifespan. It highlights the critical need for theoretically driven research that focuses on understanding mediational factors that may explain behavior and behavior change processes. It also focuses on understanding the balance between conducting science-based research using randomized controlled trials (RCTs) versus the need for involving communities in more participatory research for improving community engagement. In addition, it highlights the need for incorporating a developmental perspective and outlines key issues relevant to understanding PA behavior across the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Health Psychology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940400
ISBN (Print)9780195342819
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior change
  • Disease prevention
  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Health psychology
  • Physical activity research
  • Randomized controlled trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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