4.6 Article

Optimising the effects of physical activity on mental health and wellbeing: A joint consensus statement from Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Psychological Society


Volume 26, Issue 2, Pages 132-139


DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2023.01.001


Exercise; Contextual factors; Social environment; Built environment; Leisure activities; Instructional style


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This consensus statement provides guidance on promoting physical activity for the benefit of mental health. Recommendations are made regarding the type, domain, physical and social environment, as well as the delivery of physical activity.
Objectives: This consensus statement from Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Psychological Society aims to provide guidance to practitioners on the ways that physical activity can be promoted to maximise ben-efits to mental health.Methods: Following the Clinical Consensus Statement protocol, an expert group comprised of eight members with expertise in physical activity and mental health articulated recommendations regarding five physical activ-ity contextual factors: type, physical environment, delivery, domain, and social environment.Results: To optimise the mental health benefits of physical activity, we recommend: i) activity selection be guided by factors associated with adherence and enjoyment as opposed to any specific type (type); ii) facilitators (i.e., teachers, coaches, instructors, practitioners) deliver organised physical activity sessions using an instruc-tional style that satisfies individuals' basic needs for autonomy, competence and social connection (delivery); iii) participation in physical activity with others who provide support, facilitate positive interactions, or make people feel valued, so long as it does not undermine a preference to be active alone (social environment); iv) where possible and appropriate, some physical activity should be undertaken outside in pleasant natural envi-ronments (physical environment); and, v) at least some physical activity be undertaken during leisure-time or via active travel, where possible prioritising activities one personally chooses to undertake (domain).Conclusions: The type, domain, physical and social environment of physical activity, as well as the way in which it is delivered, will determine mental health outcomes. Practitioners can use these recommendations to optimise the effects of physical activity on mental health.(c) 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Sports Medicine Australia. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


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Neil Morte
Very interesting to focus on domains and delivery of activities in a way that an individual can enjoy and have the self-efficacy and confidence. The recommendations can help practitioners to optimize activities and mental health outcomes.


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