Journal of Physical Activity & Health vol:11 issue:1 pages:18-29
Background: Self-efficacy has been found to be an important precondition for behavioral change in sedentary people. The present study examined the effectiveness and added value of including a 15-minute self-efficacy coaching at the start of a 12-week lifestyle physical activity (PA) program. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to a standard-intervention group (without additional self-efficacy coaching, N=116) or extra-intervention group (with additional self-efficacy coaching, N=111). Body-Mass-Index (BMI), cardiovascular fitness, self-reported PA and self-efficacy beliefs were assessed at baseline and immediately after the intervention period. Perceived adherence to the PA program was assessed post-intervention. Results: At post-test, a significant increase in cardiovascular fitness and decrease in BMI were found in both groups. Significant intervention effects emerged on PA behavior, self-efficacy and program adherence, in favor of the extra-intervention group. Self-efficacy mediated the intervention effect on program adherence whereas no evidence was found for its role as mediator of PA change. Conclusions: Adding a 15-minute self-efficacy coaching at the start of a lifestyle PA program is a promising strategy to enhance the intervention effects on PA behavior, self-efficacy beliefs and program adherence. However, the role of self-efficacy as mediator of the intervention effect on in PA was not fully supported.