Critically examines the influence of social psychological factors on decisions to adopt and maintain physical activity and the relationships between physical activity and psychological well-being.
About this paper
|Psychology of Physical Activity
|Sport, Physical Education and Exercise
|Semester 1 (On campus)
|Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD )
|International Tuition Fees
|Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
- PHSE 205 or PHSE 334 or SPEX 204 or SPEX 205
- PHSE 336, PHSE 536
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Science
Suitable for students interested in the psychology of physical activity, health promotion, public health, social psychology and physical education.
- More information link
- Teaching staff
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Elaine Hargreaves
- Paper Structure
The paper covers five topics:
- Introduction to the psychology of physical activity and the research
- The psychological responses to physical activity: depression, anxiety, self-esteem and body image, affect and potential negative outcomes (e.g. exercise dependence)
- The role of motivation in physical activity behaviour change, drawing from self-determination theory, self-efficacy theory and theory of planned behaviour
- Skills and techniques for conducting successful physical activity behaviour change consultations
- Design and evaluation of psychologically based physical activity interventions
- Teaching Arrangements
There are five compulsory tutorials held across the semester.
There is no compulsory textbook. A reading list will be provided, which details the book chapter or research articles that complement each lecture. These readings will be available online and through course reserve in the library.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
On completing the paper students should be able to:
- Describe the evidence to support (or not) the role physical activity plays in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
- Explain the relationship between physical activity and the different facets of psychological wellbeing.
- Critically evaluate current socio-cognitive theories that explain motivation for physical activity.
- Demonstrate the communication skills required to facilitate individual-level behaviour change.
- Translate theory-based concepts into practical strategies to influence behaviour in different physical activity contexts.