It’s not how old you are, it’s where you're at in life: application of a life-span framework to physical activity in examining community and environmental interventions

Richard J. Keegan, Stuart J. H. Biddle, David E. Lavallee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Increasing levels of sedentary behaviour and decreasing levels of physical activity have been cited as causes ofrising obesity rates and pose a significant public health risk. The purpose of this ideas paper is to propose a modelof lifespan development that is both relevant and beneficial to the study and promotion of physical activity for health. The proposed model is used in the examination of various community and environmental interventions for the promotion of physical activity. Following the explanation of the physical activity lifespan development model, the framework is used to assess which interventions are most likely to be beneficial to each of three age groups: childhood/early youth, adulthood, and older adulthood. A sample of existing research is then overviewed for each suggested intervention, using a modified RE-AIM framework (Estabrooks & Gyurcsik, 2003). It is concluded that the lifespan development model may be helpful in assessing which physical activity interventions are best suited to various life phases, and also in designing future interventions. Future researchconsidering interventions as a function of life-phase is recommended and the current model of lifespan development is proposed as a useful tool in the creation and examination of physical activity interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalSport and Exercise Psychology Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Cite this