A research agenda to examine the efficacy and relevance of the Transtheoretical Model for physical activity behavior

Claudio R. Nigg, Karly S. Geller, Rob W. Motl, Caroline C. Horwath, Kristin K. Wertin, Rodney K. Dishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regular physical activity (PA) decreases the risk of several chronic diseases including some cancers, type II diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease; however, the majority of US adults are not meeting the recommended levels to experience these benefits. To address this public health concern, the underlying mechanisms for behavior change need to be understood, translated and disseminated into appropriately tailored interventions. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) provides a framework for both the conceptualization and the measurement of behavior change, as well as facilitating promotion strategies that are individualized and easily adapted. The purpose of this manuscript is to present the constructs of the TTM as they relate to PA behavior change. We begin with a brief synopsis of recent examinations of the TTM constructs and their application. Subsequent to its introduction, we specifically present the TTM within the PA context and discuss its application and usefulness to researchers and practitioners. Criticisms of the TTM are also noted and presented as opportunities for future research to enhance the valid application of the TTM. We offer general study design recommendations to appropriately test the hypothesized relationships within the model. With further examinations using appropriate study design and statistical analyses, we believe the TTM has the potential to advance the public health impact of future PA promotion interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Decisional balance
  • Physical activity
  • Processes
  • Self-efficacy
  • Stage
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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