The role of mindfulness in physical activity: a systematic review.

Author: Schneider J1, Malinowski P1, Watson PM2, Lattimore P1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup>School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK. <sup>2</sup>Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
Conference/Journal: Obes Rev.
Date published: 2018 Nov 23
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/obr.12795. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 212

Despite continued public health campaigns to promote physical activity, a majority of the population is inactive. In recent years, mindfulness-based approaches have been used in health and lifestyle interventions for physical activity promotion. We conducted a systematic literature review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to investigate the evidence for the potential of mindfulness-based approaches for physical activity. We searched electronic databases for papers that met eligibility criteria and identified 40 studies for inclusion. Evidence from cross-sectional studies (n = 20) indicated a positive relationship between dispositional mindfulness and physical activity, particularly with psychological factors related to physical activity. Five studies found that the mindfulness-physical activity relationship was mediated by stress, psychological flexibility, negative affect and shame, satisfaction and state mindfulness. Evidence from mindfulness-based interventions (n = 20) suggested positive between-subjects effects on physical activity, but interventions varied in duration, session length, group size, delivery, content and follow-up. Mindfulness-based interventions were more likely to be successful if they were physical activity-specific and targeted psychological factors related to physical activity. The body of research shows a need for more methodologically rigorous studies to establish the effect of mindfulness on physical activity and to identify potential mechanisms involved in the mindfulness-physical activity relationship reliably.

KEYWORDS: Intrinsic motivation; mindfulness; physical activity; self-regulation

PMID: 30468299 DOI: 10.1111/obr.12795