What next for sport and exercise psychology research?
Ongoing research is setting the stage for development and testing of theory-based interventions in the context of sport, physical education, and exercise.
Efforts are underway (with colleagues from Norway, Spain, Greece, and France) to obtain funding for an EU-centered coach education training programme focused on the enhancement of the psychosocial development and adoption of healthy lifestyles among children.
With colleagues from Scotland, the US, and the School of Medicine at Birmingham, exploratory work on the promotion of more self-determining consultations in exercise referral schemes is leading to a definitive RCT and extension of this approach to other health related behaviours (e.g., dietary change) and health care advisors (e.g., GPs).
Preliminary research has used brain fMRI to examine co-activation of neural areas involved with action, observation, and imagery and further intervention research with athletes and clinical populations (e.g., patients recovering their motor function following a stroke) is being planned.
With respect to future work on environmental manipulations and lifestyle physical activity, there are plans to examine the impact of differential message construction, populations (younger and older adults, adolescents), and objective and perceived contextual factors (e.g. worksite versus shopping areas) and climatic conditions on stair climbing.