Physical inactivity is a public health burden associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other high-cost chronic diseases. Although evidence for health benefits of even small increases in physical activity has been accumulating for years, the proportion of adults who adopt and adhere to an active lifestyle or exercise has had a disproportionally smaller increase. Understanding how people change and sustain this important health behavior is essential for the design and implementation of more effective physical activity interventions. Mechanisms for change and adherence are those factors that have consistent and significant associations with physical activity over time, are amenable to change, and have been found to mediate the effects of interventions. The entry begins with definitions, followed by a review of ...

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