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Toshiki Ohta, Izumi Tabata and Yumiko Mochizuki

Edited by Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko

The Japanese National Physical Activity and Health Promotion Guidelines were compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan. A broad definition of physical activity was adopted in this report. Objectives of physical activity were (a) maintaining and promoting health, (b) preventing and treating disease, (c) reducing stress, (d) promoting development in childhood, (e) maintaining and improving independence in older people, (f) managing symptoms associated with menopause, and (g) promoting general psychological well-being.

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Rylee Dionigi

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived psychological benefits and explore the mechanisms underlying the link between exercise and psychological well-being for a group of older adults (65-72 years; 6 women; 4 men) who participated in a 12-week program of moderate-to-high intensity resistance training. They were interviewed in-depth at 1 week preintervention, 1 month after commencement, and 1 week after completion. The participants believed that resistance training enhanced their well-being, and they gave various physical, mental, and social reasons to explain this link. In particular, self-efficacy and social interaction were found to be key mechanisms underlying this relationship. This study exposed meaningful perceived improvements in psychological well-being that have not been uncovered in quantitative studies of healthy older people undertaking resistance training. The findings highlight the importance of using qualitative methods to enrich understandings of the positive effect of exercise on psychological well-being. The findings also have implications for designing effective resistance training interventions for older people.

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Jacqueline C. Savis

Sleep is generally regarded important for maintaining one’s physical and psychological well-being. For the competitive athlete, many factors may negatively impact on his or her sleep, possibly resulting in compromised athletic performance. These factors include alterations in diet, changes in ambient temperature and/or altitude, traveling across time zones, and anxiety. In this article, an attempt is made to synthesize the relevant knowledge with regard to sleep and athletic performance. Sleep and performance are highly individual specific, with many interdependent factors influencing the expression of both variables. Recommendations for future research that addresses the unique demands of athletes are presented.

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Patricia Marten DiBartolo, Linda Lin, Simone Montoya, Heather Neal and Carey Shaffer

This study reports the psychometric development of a measure to assess individual differences in exercise motivations using a functionalist strategy (Snyder & Cantor, 1997). Factor analyses revealed two subscales for the newly developed Function of Exercise Scale (FES): Weight and Appearance (WA), and Health and Enjoyment (HE). FES-HE scores correlated with better psychological well-being and predicted prospectively monitored as well as concurrently and longitudinally assessed exercise behavior. FES-HE scores also correlated with lower pulse, systolic blood pressure, and salivary cortisol readings, indicating its association with better physical health. In contrast, FES-WA scores correlated with greater depressive and eating disorder symptoms, as well as lower self-esteem, and predicted the later emergence of eating disorder, but not depressive, symptoms. FES-WA scores failed to show a relationship with measures of physical well-being, including exercise engagement and vital sign data. Overall, the FES appears to hold promise as a succinct and psychometrically sound heuristic for meaningfully relating exercise motivations to important indices of both physical and psychological well-being.

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Samara Boisen, Chris Krägeloh, Daniel Shepherd, Clare Ryan, Jonathan Masters, Sue Osborne, Rod D. MacLeod, Marion Gray and Justin W. Keogh

Men with prostate cancer experience many side effects and symptoms that may be improved by a physically active lifestyle. It was hypothesized that older men with prostate cancer who were physically active would report significantly higher levels of quality of life (QOL) as assessed by the WHOQOL-BREF and the WHOQOL-OLD. Of the 348 prostate cancer survivors who were invited to participate in the present postal survey, 137 men returned the questionnaires. Those who were physically active had significantly lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) scores and higher social participation than those insufficiently active. These findings offer some support for the benefits of physical activity (PA) within the prostate cancer population in managing the adverse side effects of their treatments on aspects of their QOL. Future research should more closely examine what types of PA best promote improvements in varying aspects of QOL and psychological well-being for prostate cancer survivors.

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Lene Levy-Storms, Lin Chen and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

Major gaps exist in the literature regarding the link between open space and physical activity promotion for older adults. This study conducted a systematic review on older adults, open space, and physical activity to identify their needs and preferences in and near parks. We identified 48 peer-reviewed journal articles. All articles focused on older adults but not necessarily exclusively. Most studies were descriptive and correlational. Findings suggest that older adults have specific open space and physical activity needs in and near parks that partly overlap with younger people. Framed by the biopsychosocial framework, open space and physical activity in and near parks can benefit older adults’ physical health and psychologically well-being to stay socially engaged. Framed within the person–environment and life span perspectives, open space and physical activity in and near parks can facilitate an optimum fit between older adults and their environment as they continue to develop over time.

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Judith A. Rock and Marc V. Jones


To explore the usefulness of counseling skills for 3 athletes undergoing rehabilitation from anterior-cruciate-ligament-reconstruction surgery.


A series of 3 case studies explored the impact of a counseling-skills intervention over 12 weeks postsurgery. Semistructured interviews were conducted 12 weeks postsurgery for triangulation and social validation of intervention.


3 athletes meeting selection criteria, recruited from a hospital waiting list and receiving standardized rehabilitation regime.


Participants each received 6 counseling skills interventions at 2-week intervals.

Main Outcome Measures:

Mood, perceived rehabilitation, pain ratings, social support.


Triangulation of interview data and outcome measures provided some evidence of the beneficial impact of counseling skills on psychological outcomes. It also indicated that setbacks could present challenges to rehabilitation.


Counseling skills can enhance psychological well-being of athletes during rehabilitation and be especially important during setbacks.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Grounded in self-determination theory (SDT), this study had two purposes: (a) examine the associations between intrinsic (relative to extrinsic) exercise goal content and cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes; and (b) test the mediating role of psychological need satisfaction in the Exercise Goal Content Outcomes relationship. Using a sample of 410 adults, hierarchical regression analysis showed relative intrinsic goal content to positively predict physical self-worth, self-reported exercise behavior, psychological well-being, and psychological need satisfaction and negatively predict exercise anxiety. Except for exercise behavior, the predictive utility of relative intrinsic goal content on the dependent variables of interest remained significant after controlling for participants’ relative self-determined exercise motivation. Structural equation modeling analyses showed psychological need satisfaction to partially mediate the effect of relative intrinsic goal content on the outcome variables. Our findings support further investigation of exercise goals commensurate with the goal content perspective advanced in SDT.

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Alison Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis and Joan Duda

Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999), this study examined the motivational processes underlying goal striving in sport as well as the role of perceived coach autonomy support in the goal process. Structural equation modeling with a sample of 210 British athletes showed that autonomous goal motives positively predicted effort, which, in turn, predicted goal attainment. Goal attainment was positively linked to need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted psychological well-being. Effort and need satisfaction were found to mediate the associations between autonomous motives and goal attainment and between attainment and well-being, respectively. Controlled motives negatively predicted well-being, and coach autonomy support positively predicted both autonomous motives and need satisfaction. Associations of autonomous motives with effort were not reducible to goal difficulty, goal specificity, or goal efficacy. These findings support the self-concordance model as a framework for further research on goal setting in sport.

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Georgina Sutherland, Mark B. Andersen and Mark A. Stoové

Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are often advised not to participate in vigorous exercise. Leading a relatively sedentary life, however, may exacerbate the debilitating effects of MS. In this study, 22 people participated in either a no-special-activity group (n = 11) or an experimental group (n = 11) that involved water aerobics three times a week for 10 weeks. Measures taken included scales for health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and psychological well-being. ANCOVAs using social support and the appropriate pretest scores as covariates revealed that after the intervention, the exercise group had more energy and vigor (extremely large effect sizes). Other very large effects were found in the exercise group, which had better social and sexual functioning and less bodily pain and fatigue than the control group. Future research should involve long-term studies to determine whether exercise not only improves quality of life but also helps slow the progression of disease.