A mixed-methods approach to understanding barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and exercise from five European countries: highlighting the roles of enjoyment, emotion and social engagement

Healthy adults are consistently falling below national and international recommendations for physical activity and dietary intake across Europe. This study took a co-creative approach with adult samples from five European countries to qualitatively and quantitatively establish motivators, barriers and sustaining factors for positive health behaviour change. Stage 1 delivered a newly-designed online programme, creating a community who identified challenges, motivators and solutions to sustaining positive healthy eating and physical activity behaviours. Stage 2 administered an online survey (developed from Stage 1 findings) to a larger sample to quantify the relative importance of these motivators and barriers. Results from both stages indicated enjoyment, positive emotions, and reward as key motivators for both behaviours across all five countries. Barriers included habit-breaking difficulties, temptation and negative affective states. Those with a high {BMI} placed more importance on social pressure than those with healthy {BMI}. Participants’ reports of motivators and barriers reflected relevant approaches from consumer science, behavioural economics, and psychology. Interventions supporting adults who are not chronically ill but would benefit from improved diet and/or physical activity should not focus exclusively on health as a motivating factor. Emphasis on enjoyable behaviours, social engagement and reward will likely improve engagement and sustained behaviour change.

Références

Titre
A mixed-methods approach to understanding barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and exercise from five European countries: highlighting the roles of enjoyment, emotion and social engagement
Type de publication
Article de revue
Année de publication
2023
Revue
Psychology & Health
Pagination
1–28
ISSN
0887-0446
Soumis le 24 novembre 2023