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Examining the construct validity of the transtheoretical model to structure workplace physical activity interventions to improve mental health in academic staff

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In the UK, many academic staff are not sufficiently physically active and experience high levels of poor mental health. Designing theoretical workplace physical activity in- terventions may help this population become active and improve their mental health. This study examined the construct validity of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) in academic staff to design physical activity interventions for mental health purposes. One-hundred fifty-eight academic staff employed in a teaching or research capacity completed online surveys on their current stage of change of physical activity, self-efficacy, perceived benefits and barriers of being active, distress, and wellbeing. Analyses of variance compared stages of physical activity against psychological and mental health variables. Overall, most individuals were in the action and maintenance stages of the TTM. Self-efficacy and benefits increased, while barriers of physical activity decreased with each successive stage, indicating that the mediators of physical activity changed in accordance with the TTM. Additionally, distress decreased and wellbeing increased significantly with each successive stage, indicating better mental health amongst active individuals. This study supports the use of the TTM to structure work-place physical activity interventions for mental health purposes for academic staff. Strategies should be employed to strengthen self-efficacy in those individuals think-ing about or intending to become active.
Original languageEnglish
Article number002
JournalEMS Community Medicine Journal
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2017

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