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Theoretical underpinnings of interventions that effectively promote physical activity in adult men

Systematic review and qualitative content analysis

Theoretische Grundlagen von Interventionen zur wirksamen Förderung körperlicher Aktivität bei erwachsenen Männern

Systematisches Review und qualitative Inhaltsanalyse

Abstract

The aim of this systematic review and qualitative content analysis was to investigate the theoretical underpinnings of interventions that effectively promote physical activity (PA) in adult males. This was done with a focus on gender-sensitivity and behavior change theory. In total, 26 studies, involving evaluations of 12 programs, were included. Out of these 12 programs, five overlapping intervention types could be distinguished. The results indicate that all programs mainly operate through actions and messages, while reducing the threats that traditional health care approaches pose to men’s masculine capital. Thereby, they are successful in recruiting a substantial number of men as participants even for settings or activities which are considered to have a feminine element to it. To initiate and maintain behavior change, most interventions refer to behavior change theory, but many of them lack theoretical purity. Instead, deliverers focus on well-defined and evidence-base behavior change techniques, which facilitate conscious and deliberate planning of engagement in PA. Nonconscious impulsive processes as well as operant conditioning are mostly ignored. This review in combination with a qualitative content analysis contributes to strengthening the theoretical foundation of future interventions meant to stimulate health-enhancing PA in adult men.

Zusammenfassung

Ziel dieses Beitrages war es, die theoretischen Grundlagen von männergerechten Interventionen zur Bewegungsförderung zu untersuchen. Methodisch wurde ein systematisches Review in Kombination mit einer qualitativen Inhaltsanalyse eingesetzt. Der Schwerpunkt der Analyse lag dabei auf der Berücksichtigung von geschlechtsspezifischen Besonderheiten sowie von Theorien der Verhaltensänderung. Insgesamt wurden 26 Studien mit Auswertungen von 12 verschiedenen Bewegungsprogrammen einbezogen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass es den Programmen im Gegensatz zu vielen klassischen Anbietern der Gesundheitsvorsorgen gelingt, durch ihre Maßnahmen und Botschaften Gesundheitsvorsorge und männliche Ideale in Einklang zu bringen. Auf diese Weise rekrutieren sie eine beträchtliche Anzahl von Männern als Teilnehmer, auch für Settings oder Aktivitäten, die feminin konnotiert sind. Um Änderungen des Verhaltens zu initiieren und aufrechtzuerhalten, beziehen sich die meisten Interventionen auf gängige Theorien der Verhaltensänderung. Hierbei mangelt es jedoch an theoretischer Klarheit. Stattdessen wird eine Vielzahl von bewährten und evidenzbasierten Strategien der Verhaltensänderung eingesetzt, die eine bewusste und durchdachte Planung des eigenen Bewegungsverhaltens ermöglichen. Unbewusste impulsive Prozesse sowie operante Konditionierung werden meistens ignoriert. Dieser Artikel trägt dazu bei, die theoretische Grundlage zukünftiger männergerechter Interventionen zur Förderung des Bewegungsverhaltens zu stärken.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    As several studies refer to the same overlapping intervention, a basic citation (study protocol or first published paper) is provided to correspond with the interventions being discussed.

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Funding

The research network Capital4Health [grant number: 01EL1421A] and the associated subproject ACTION for men [grant numbers: 01EL1421D, University of Bayreuth/01EL1421H, University of Regensburg] in which the study took place, are funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

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Correspondence to Helmut Strobl.

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H. Strobl declares that he has no competing interests.

For this article no studies with human participants or animals were performed by any of the authors. All studies performed were in accordance with the ethical standards indicated in each case.

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Strobl, H. Theoretical underpinnings of interventions that effectively promote physical activity in adult men. Ger J Exerc Sport Res 50, 162–178 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12662-019-00631-z

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Keywords

  • Health-enhancing
  • Evidence-based
  • Gender
  • Male
  • Behavior change

Schlüsselwörter

  • Gesundheitsförderlich
  • Evidenzbasiert
  • Gender
  • Männlich
  • Verhaltensänderung