A recent study conducted by University of Missouri researchers revealed that healthy adults who received interventions that focused primarily on behavior-changing strategies significantly increased their physical activity levels, while in comparison, interventions based on cognitive approaches, which try to change knowledge and attitudes, did not improve physical activity. Here are a couple of other related key findings of the study:
Behavior strategies include feedback, goal setting, self-monitoring, exercise prescription and stimulus or cues. Self-monitoring, any method where participants record and track their activity over time, appears to significantly increase awareness and provide motivation for improvement, Conn said.
“Health care providers should ask patients about their exercise habits and help them set specific, manageable goals,” Conn said. “Ask them to try different strategies, such as tracking their progress, scheduling exercise on their phones or calendars, or placing their pedometers by their clothes. Discuss rewards for accomplishing goals.”
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