everyoneactiveEveryone Active has become the first leisure operator to invest in a new training course designed to overcome the psychological barriers to increasing physical activity.

Delivered by Lifetime Training, the Lifestyle Activity Coaching course was developed in consultation with the Academy for Health Coaching and led by physician Dr Tim Anstiss who specialises in applying the science of positive psychology to health and care settings. The course addresses the increasing evidence that the success of physical activity interventions relies heavily on changing emotional and psychological attitudes towards exercise and active lifestyles.

According to the British Psychological Society “there is an accumulating body of evidence to suggest that a range of individually-tailored and/or self-monitoring interventions such as goal setting, implementation intentions, motivational interviewing and reinforcement are associated with increased levels of physical activity.”1

The training is being delivered over 12 weeks to Everyone Active Fitness Motivators who look after exercise referrals. They will develop their skills to engage less active people in person-centred, motivating and supportive conversations about becoming and staying more active.

“Research within physical activity promotion has identified that motivational interviewing is one of the strongest predictors of long term behaviours,” says Tiffeny Gould, National Exercise Referral Manager at Everyone Active. “With 50 exercise referral schemes delivered across the company, an opportunity to improve the quality of delivery and impact on our local communities could not be missed.”

Key elements of the training include applying the four processes of motivational interviewing based on health coaching: (Engaging, Focussing, Evoking, and Planning). A range of proven behaviour change techniques are taught, including motivational interviewing, decisional balance, scaling questions, empathic listening, shared decision making, goal setting and relapse prevention.

Mike Jones, Commercial Director at Lifetime Training, commented: “Lifetime is delighted to be working in partnership with Everyone Active to help build a stronger bridge for the fitness industry to link ever closer with the public health agenda. Equipping Fitness Motivators with the skills to positively engage less active people is absolutely essential in creating a pathway in support of a more active nation.” 

The Lifestyle Activity Coaching training will form part of Everyone Active’s NICE compliant exercise referral schemes, which follow up with each referral over a 12 month period.

1. http://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/Public%20files/physical_activity.pdf