Social and behavioral theories in promoting physical activity
The health benefit of regular physical activity (PA) participation among various populations has been well documented for several decades. This chapter focuses on the behavioral theories for PA promotion—particularly those most pertinent to the integration of emerging technology within PA interventions. It reviews the details of seven theoretical frameworks that have been widely employed in the field of PA and health: Self-efficacy Theory; Goal Setting Theory; Self-determination Theory; Theory of Planned Behavior; Transtheoretical Model; Social Cognitive Theory; and the Social Ecological Model. The chapter describes important theories and key concepts/constructs within each theory that are often used to promote PA and health. It provides a brief summary of the empirical evidence concerning the application of theories in emerging technology-based PA promotion interventions. The chapter also provides a short discussion of the challenges and future directions for the application of theories in technology-based practice and empirical research.