Sports Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 321–331 | Cite as

Theories and Techniques for Promoting Physical Activity Behaviours

  • Bess H. Marcus
  • Teresa K. King
  • Matthew M. Clark
  • Bernardine M. Pinto
  • Beth C. Bock
Review Article


The primary goal of this article is to review theoretical models utilised in designing physical activity interventions for healthy adults. Physical activity offers numerous benefits for improved physical and psychological health. However, the majority of the population is sedentary and therefore at increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Many techniques have been developed for intervening with physical activity behaviours, some of which are based on theoretical models. While some of these models show more promise than others, no model is sufficient to thoroughly explain exercise behaviours or how to best intervene. In the final section, recommendations for future research are presented, and promising areas of development in physical activity interventions are discussed. This is not an exhaustive review of theoretical models but rather focuses on models most commonly applied to physical activity.


Physical Activity Physical Activity Behaviour Social Cognitive Theory Physical Activity Intervention Relapse Prevention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bess H. Marcus
    • 1
  • Teresa K. King
    • 1
  • Matthew M. Clark
    • 1
  • Bernardine M. Pinto
    • 1
  • Beth C. Bock
    • 1
  1. 1.The Miriam Hospital and Brown University School of MedicineProvidenceUSA

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