Physical Activity Psychology Research: Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?

in Kinesiology Review

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Bradley J. Cardinal
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This paper offers a critical review and analysis of physical activity psychology research over the past quarter century (primarily), describes current research trends in the area, and suggests future research directions. This is a vast and ambitious task. Furthermore, the contributions come from those within kinesiology, as well as outside of kinesiology, with many new disciplines and professions advancing research agendas in this domain. There are rich and distinctive opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations in this area, opportunities that have genuine transformative potential. Following the paper's introduction, six major topics are addressed, including: what physical activity psychology is, foundational work in physical activity psychology research, trends in physical activity psychology research, behavioral specificity, physical activity prevalence, and where to go in the future. The paper concludes with a call-to-action, particularly aimed at helping to get and keep people physically active across the lifespan, which is the fundamental work of physical activity psychology.

Cardinal (NAK Fellow #475) is with the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Program in Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

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