Psychology of Physical Activity: Determinants, Well-Being and Interventions / Edition 2

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As modern lifestyles offer ever more opportunities for a sedentary existence, physical activity has become, for many, a marginal aspect of life. Too little physical activity is linked to common, often serious, health problems, and although this link is now widely acknowledged, levels of sedentary behaviour continue to increase throughout western society. Psychology of Physical Activity, 2nd Edition addresses this concern, bringing together a wealth of up to date information about exercise behaviour including:

  • motivation and psychological factors associated with activity or inactivity
  • the psychological outcomes of exercising including the 'feel–good' factor
  • understanding specific clinical populations
  • interventions and applied practice in the psychology of physical activity
  • current trends and future directions in research and practice.

Updated to reflect new findings and research directions, this new edition includes full textbook features, and is accompanied by a dedicated website providing lecturers and students with extensive support materials, including powerpoint slides and student MCQ's.

Visit the companion website at

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Editorial Reviews

Biddle (exercise and sport psychology, Loughborough U., UK) and Mutrie (physical activity and health science, U. of Glasgow, UK) examine the current state of psychological research in the field of physical activity, explore the factors which encourage people to be physically active, discuss the main psychological benefits to physical fitness, and present solutions to adherence problems. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jennifer L Etnier, MA, PhD (Arizona State University)
Description: This book covers the theory, empirical literature, and reviews in the areas of exercise motivation and psychological benefits of exercise. The text is a revision from a 1991 edition and represents the additions to the literature since that time.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the behavioral and psychological background in the areas of motivation for physical activity, psychological benefits of physical activity, and individual- and community-level interventions for increasing physical activity. These are worthy objectives and the book is certainly needed. The authors meet the objectives regarding the motivation to exercise and the discussion of both individual- and community-level interventions.
Audience: The authors do not really state for whom the book is written. In my opinion, the book provides a good general text for an undergraduate course in exercise motivation and adherence. Both authors are very credible.
Features: There are several chapters devoted to a discussion of theory and research relevant to motivation. Three chapters review the psychological benefits of exercise. Two chapters cover individual- and community-oriented approaches to increasing physical activity and exercise. The authors do a very nice job in presenting the theory in the area of motivation. They have been inclusive in their presentation, but have also provided important criticisms of theories when appropriate. They include current literature to support their conclusions and they are cognizant of most of the meta-analytic reviews in the area. The illustrations, boxed information, and graphs are well done and well placed. The graphs often help to clarify statistical results that are discussed in the text. The greatest shortcoming of the book is that the chapter on psychological well-being is somewhat short-changed. I recognize that it is extremely difficult to include all of the information on psychological well-being in a single text, but I am always disappointed when authors attempt to present all of this literature in a single chapter. The authors have done a nice job of presenting a broad overview of many of aspects of psychological well-being (i.e., mood, anxiety, stress), but some topics are incompletely addressed. In particular, three topics unique to women (menstrual cycle, menopause, and pregnancy) consist only of brief discussions of cross-sectional studies. In the area of menopause, there is a substantial body of literature on the impact of physical activity on cognition that is not included. In general, for most of the topics, the authors present meta-analytic findings, but then seem to put emphasis on the findings of single empirical studies that in some cases contradict the conclusions of the meta-analyses. This seems to be inconsistent with the purpose, benefits, and power of the meta-analytic review. However, the authors do not provide examples of empirical studies for all of the topics. The result is that some of the topics are relegated to what seems to be a secondary status despite the fact that there may be a wealth of empirical literature in that area (i.e., cognition). The section on mechanisms also is somewhat brief and it seems that several potentially viable mechanisms are omitted (i.e., cerebral blood flow, Solomon's Opponent Process Theory, improvements in body image, etc). Finally, in the chapter on clinical populations, there have been several studies on cognition relative to physical activity in COPD patients that have not been mentioned (i.e., papers by Emery and by Etnier).
Assessment: This book is well-suited for a class on motivation. I greatly appreciate the authors' presentation of theory and its importance and their attempt to present the research literature which supports (or in some cases, fails to support) the theory, mechanisms, and guidelines that have been proposed. The authors have also done a very nice job of organizing the motivation theories into a thorough discussion. The inclusion of special consideration of clinical populations is a nice touch. This edition is certainly justified.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415366649
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/3/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart J. H. Biddle is Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology at Loughborough University, UK.

Nanette Mutrie is Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology at Strathclyde University, UK.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 1. Introduction Part 2 2. Motivation for Physical Activity: Introduction and Overview 3. Motivation Through Feelings of Control 4. I Can! Motivation Through Feelings of Competence and Confidence 5. Linking Attitudes with Physical Activity 6. Physical Activity Theories and Models: Stages, Phases and Overlap 7. What I feel and Where I Am: Exercise Perceptions and Social Environments Part 3 8. The Feel Good Factor: Physical Activity and Psychological Well-Being 9. Depression and Other Mental Illnesses 10. The Psychology of Exercise for Clinical Populations Part 4 11. Making a Difference 1: Intervention Strategies for the Individual 12. Making a Difference 2: Interventions in Organisations and Communities 13. Conclusions and Future Directions

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