Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) appears to have some promise as a method of promoting physical activity.
This pilot study evaluated the short-term effectiveness of a brief, physical-activity-focused ACT intervention. Young adult, female participants were randomly assigned to an Education (n = 19) or ACT (n = 35) intervention. Both interventions consisted of 2, 2-hour group sessions. ACT sessions taught skills for mindfulness, values clarification, and willingness to experience distress in the service of behavior change.
Of the intervention completers, ACT participants increased their level of physical activity significantly more than Education participants.
The results indicate that ACT approaches have the potential to promote short-term increases in physical activity.
The authors are with the Dept of Psychology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.