Bridging the gap between health psychology and philosophy: an existential approach to promoting physical activity

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    Abstract

    Participation rates in a number of health-related behaviors, such as physical activity, have shown recent declines. To promote participation, psychological health behaviour change theories have been developed to understand and help identify relevant psychological processes. Such processes can then be targeted within interventions utilizing specific behavior change techniques (BCTs). Although the use of these theories and BCTs is useful in facilitating change, such work could be enhanced through the inclusion and consideration of philosophical positions. Existentialism suggests that the absurdity and meaningless of human life allows the individual to create their own meaning within a behavior. This philosophical position thus places meaning and individual purpose at the center of human behavior. The purpose of this
    article is to connect the theoretical insights and BCTs outlined within health
    psychological behavior change theories with the philosophical position of
    existentialism. The integration of this philosophical position, and potentially many others, with psychological ideas may provide useful insights into the promotion of health-related behaviors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-22
    JournalPhysical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research
    Volume81
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019

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