Despite the increased health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, only 49 % of American adults participate in physical activity (PA) at the recommended levels. In an effort to move the PA field forward, we briefly review three emerging areas of PA intervention research. First, new intervention research has focused on not only increasing PA but also on decreasing sedentary behavior. Researchers should utilize randomized controlled trials, common terminology, investigate which behaviors should replace sedentary behaviors, evaluate long-term outcomes, and focus across the lifespan. Second, technology has contributed to an increase in sedentary behavior but has also led to innovative PA interventions. PA technology research should focus on large randomized trials with evidence-based components, explore social networking and innovative apps, improve PA monitoring, consider the lifespan, and be grounded in theory. Finally, in an effort to maximize public health impact, dissemination efforts should address the RE-AIM model, health disparities, and intervention costs.
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The authors thank the Society of Behavioral Medicine Physical Activity SIG members who reviewed this manuscript including James Sallis, Danielle Arigo, Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, and Mathilda Coday. This manuscript was significantly improved due to the detailed feedback they provided on the first version of this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
Beth A. Lewis, Melissa A. Napolitano, Matthew P. Buman, David M. Williams and Claudio R. Nigg declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and Informed consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.
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Lewis, B.A., Napolitano, M.A., Buman, M.P. et al. Future directions in physical activity intervention research: expanding our focus to sedentary behaviors, technology, and dissemination. J Behav Med 40, 112–126 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-016-9797-8
- Physical activity
- Sedentary behavior