Research Topic

Psychological and Behavioral Determinants of Physical Activity Participation Across the Lifespan

About this Research Topic

The current definition of physical activity (PA) includes all possible forms, such as unstructured and everyday life activity, structured exercise consisting of prearranged, deliberate and repetitive activity, and grassroots and competitive sport. An appropriately active lifestyle can be achieved across the ...

The current definition of physical activity (PA) includes all possible forms, such as unstructured and everyday life activity, structured exercise consisting of prearranged, deliberate and repetitive activity, and grassroots and competitive sport. An appropriately active lifestyle can be achieved across the lifespan by selecting one or more forms of PA. Indeed, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle should emphasize participation in all forms of PA during all stages of life (i.e., young, middle, and older age).

Participation in PA is associated with many health benefits, and a continuous engagement in sport can lead to positive values, such as social inclusion, integration, gender equality and education. However, most of the global population fail to meet current PA guidelines. Participation in PA depends on several determinants, recently summarized in the DEDIPAC-KH (DEterminants of DIet and Physical ACtivity-Knowledge Hub) research project involving 12 European countries. Among the seven broad categories of determinants established in this project (biological, behavioral, psychological, physical environment, socio-cultural, socio-economic, policy), the psychological and behavioral determinants are of particular importance. While a large body of literature exists, it is clear that the evidence available to date is limited and inconclusive. Therefore, more research is required to improve our understanding of determinants of PA participation and behaviors across the lifespan.

This Research Topic invites contributions which investigate psychological and behavioral determinants of PA, with explicit focus on PA participation and behavior. Research across all stages of the lifespan is encouraged as engagement/maintenance of PA is crucial from the initial stages of life, for physical and cognitive development, to the final stages of life, for preservation of physical and mental health. Contributions can be focused on a single category of determinant (i.e., psychological or behavioral). However, we particularly encourage research focused on exploring the interaction between behavioral and psychological factors and their relationship with PA participation and behavior.

Potential topics include (but are not limited to):
Psychological determinants
• Personality traits and PA participation
• The relationship between stress and PA participation
• The role of cognitive skills in PA participation
• Rewards and PA participation

Behavioral determinants
• The role of PA promoting strategies in education/school
• The relationship between technology (e.g., screen use, exergaming) and PA participation
• Lifestyle habits and PA participation
• Life events (e.g., retirement, transition to university) and PA participation
• Perspectives on PA among immigrants and refugees

We welcome all article types, particularly Original Research using several study designs, though long-term prospective and longitudinal experimental designs and mediation/moderation analysis approaches are also highly encouraged.


Keywords: Physical Activity, Exercise, Sport, Behavioral, Psychological Determinants


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 November 2020 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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