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Goal setting is one of the most widely applied and universally accepted strategies used to increase physical activity (PA). Goals are defined as internal representations of desired outcomes, events or processes,1 such as losing 10 kg (outcome), completing a marathon (event) or being more active (process). Goal setting is particularly relevant for individual-level interventions, for example, when set by practitioners/clinicians prescribing exercise or making referrals. Indeed, the current trend of self-monitoring using wearables (Fitbit-like devices) is essentially rooted in achieving PA change through goal setting. Given recent calls for a ‘movement for movement’2 in response to a burgeoning evidence base regarding the importance of PA prescription and counselling,3 ensuring that the right goals are established, for the right person, and at the right time has clear implications for the effectiveness of interventions targeting both clinical and non-clinical populations. Furthermore, given that the greatest potential public health impact of PA promotion lies in assisting physically inactive individuals engage in some PA, as opposed to increasing the volume of PA among those …
Twitter @cswannpsych @simon_rosenbaum
Funding Simon Rosenbaum is funded by an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (APP1098518)
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.