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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on physical activity: A systematic review (Pages 135-143)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 17, July 2020, Pages 135-143


J. Manchón, M. J. Quiles, E. M. León, S. López-Roig



Standard behavioral interventions have positive short-term effect improving adherence to physical activity (PA), but have difficulties in producing long-term results. Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) is a very promising approach that could increase long-term adherence. This study aimed to provide a systematic review on the application of ACT for increased PA and adherence to a PA regimen.


A systematic review was conducted following the PRISMA protocol. Risk of bias was assessed through the evaluation of 12 criteria.


337 potentially relevant publications were initially obtained. Twenty-one intervention studies were finally selected and analysed in full text. Ten of them were randomized controlled trials. An increase in PA and its adherence was found in all studies, although two of them did not reach either statistical significance or clinical relevance. The data also shows the effectiveness of ACT in maintaining and enhancing changes achieved during follow-up.


Initial results for the use of ACT for adherence to PA programmes are promising. ACT appears to be effective in increasing PA. Recommendations on its implementation and future research directions are also discussed.

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