‘Snacktivity™’ to increase physical activity: Time to try something different?

Sanders, James P., Biddle, Stuart J. H., Gokal, Kajal, Sherar, Lauren B., Skrybant, Magdalena, Parretti, Helen M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7184-269X, Ives, Natalie, Yates, Thomas, Mutrie, Nanette and Daley, Amanda J. and Snacktivity Study Team (2021) ‘Snacktivity™’ to increase physical activity: Time to try something different? Preventive Medicine, 153. ISSN 0091-7435

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Evidence demonstrates that participation in regular physical activity (PA) reduces the risk of morbidity and mortality. However, current PA guidelines are focused on weekly accumulation of 150 min of moderate intensity PA as a threshold. Although recent developments of this guidance have discussed the merits of short bouts of physical activity, guidance that sets large behavioural goals for PA has not been successful in supporting the public to become sufficiently physically active and a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to PA guidelines may not be optimal. A complementary ‘whole day’ approach to PA promotion (i.e. incorporating PA throughout the day) that could motivate the population to be more physically active, is a concept we have called ‘Snacktivity™’. The Snacktivity™ approach promotes small or ‘bite’ size bouts (e.g. 2–5 min) of PA accumulated throughout the whole day. Snacktivity™ is consistent with the small change approach which suggest that behaviour change and habit formation are best achieved through gradual building of task self-efficacy, celebrating small successes. Snacktivity™also offers opportunities to “piggyback” on to existing behaviours/habits, using them as prompts for Snacktivity™. Moreover, small behaviour changes are easier to initiate and maintain than larger ones. A plethora of evidence supports the hypothesis that Snacktivity may be a more acceptable and effective way to help the public reach, or exceed current PA guidelines. This paper outlines the evidence to support the Snacktivity™ approach and the mechanisms by which it may increase population levels of physical activity. Future research directions for Snacktivity™ are also outlined.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). AJD is supported by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship award. This publication presents independent research funded by the NIHR. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: activity snacks,behaviour change,bout duration,every minute counts,physical activity promotion,small bouts,snacktivity,epidemiology,public health, environmental and occupational health ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2713
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Public Health and Health Services Research
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Norwich Institute for Healthy Aging
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Nutrition and Preventive Medicine
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Norwich Epidemiology Centre
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Norwich Epidemiology Centre
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2021 00:41
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2023 01:11
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81880
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106851

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