A Pilot Study of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Promotion of Physical Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) appears to have some promise as a method of promoting physical activity.

Method:

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.

Results:

Of the intervention completers, ACT participants increased their level of physical activity significantly more than Education participants.

Conclusions:

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.