Skip to main content


Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Table 3 Summary of overall narrative and relationships of specific points to overarching themes

From: Physical activity and the environment: conceptual review and framework for intervention research

Conceptual points for discussion 1. Conceptualisations of physical activity 2. Environmental interventions as changes in structure 3. Context may alter the success of an intervention 4. Mechanisms may be observable or unobservable 5. Understanding interventions as events in complex systems
Physical activity means different things to different disciplines…
 movements (exercise physiology)     
 types of activity (behaviours)     
 a collection of activities (practices)     
Influences on physical activity are viewed differently in different disciplines…
 social influences (psychology) cf. socially embedded (anthropology, practices)  
 physical influences (could be as a context)      
Physical activity behaviour and its influences are complex and inter-related     
Definition of the environment includes attributes of the social and physical environment    
Interactions between people and environment…
 people as agents      
 environments as structural constraint      
Effectiveness of interventions differs…
 and could be altered by social or physical environments      
 or trigger different processes      
Methods for assessing mechanisms differ…
 Observable and measurable: quantitative methods (mediation or moderation) or qualitative methods    
 Unobservable and unmeasurable: qualitative methods    
Important to acknowledge that ..
 feedback loops or reciprocal pathways (interactions between people and structure) operate    
 long causal pathways are non-linear