||5R21CA224609-02 Interpret this number
||Physical Activity Promotion Based on Positive Psychology: Development and Piloting of a Novel Intervention Approach
Engaging in regular physical activity (PA) is consistently inversely associated with risk of breast and colon
cancers, 3-17 with additional evidence for suggesting PA helps prevent endometrial,18,19 pancreatic,20 and
lung21,22 cancers. Despite these benefits, less than 5% of overweight and obese adults meet national
guidelines for PA.44 Moreover, overweight adults spend less time in PA than normal weight adults,44-48 and are
more likely to discontinue PA programs.49,50 Affect (feeling good/bad) is important for promoting regular PA, as
those who respond with less positive affect during moderate intensity PA are less likely to adopt a program
of regular PA.23-28 Additionally, those experiencing lower positive affect and higher negative affect outside the
context of PA are less likely to engage in PA.29-34 Given the importance of positive affect for adoption and
maintenance of regular PA, intervention componenents that focus on enhancing positive affect may be a
valuable addition to standard PA promotion interventions. Specifically, interventions derived from positive
psychology55 have shown promise in reducing depressive symptoms and increasing positive affect and are
beginning to be applied to other areas of behavioral health.56-57 Consistent with the ORBIT model52 for
developing behavioral interventions, the aims of this project are to, first, translate positive psychology theory
into a 6-week, group-based positive psychology for PA promotion (PPPA) intervention for low-active
overweight or obese adults (>18 years; BMI 25-40), delivered at local YMCAs, and supplemented with text
messaging. We will deliver the intervention prototype among a cohort of 10 participants. Participants and
investigators will provide ongoing feedback regarding their experiences with the intervention in an iterative
development process to refine the protocol. Our second aim is to test proof-of-concept and feasibility of PPPA
in the context of a randomized pilot study among 60 low-active overweight or obese adults at local YMCAs. In
an additive design, participants will be randomized in a 2:1 ratio to PPPA versus a control intervention
including only the standard PA promotion components of the PPPA intervention (i.e., PA education, self-
monitoring, and goal-setting), with equal frequency of staff contact and text message delivery. All
participants will be followed for 6 months, and will receive a 6-month YMCA membership to equate access to
PA facilities. We hypothesize that participants in PPPA, relative to the standard PA intervention will:
demonstrate equal or greater session treatment retention and satisfaction (H1); and more min per week
of PA as measured by accelerometry at immediate post-treatment (week 7) and weeks 13 and week 26 (H2).
As a secondary aim we will examine effect sizes for PPPA versus the standard PA intervention on putative
mediators that may underlie the efficacy of PPPA in improving PA outcomes, including positive and negative
affect, optimism, happiness, life satisfaction, social support for PA, and PA enjoyment. The proposed research
will set the stage for an RCT to test a novel PA promotion intervention that can be readily disseminated.
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