Psychology of the Physical Activity and Health

Academic year
Subject Area
Physical Activity and Health
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
3rd Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Reasonable skills of using SPSS software to analyze data.

Teaching Methods

Method based on face-to-face exposition, a practical component related with problem solving and specific use of data analysis software as well as  complementary learning based on reading articles.

During the practical classes students will be encouraged to participate in research tasks in pairs or in groups, oral presentation of ideas as well as to interact with the different actors in the teaching-learning process. Students are encouraged to read articles and book chapters summarized a minimum of 20 articles in English (20x4 hours) and 5 articles in Portuguese (5x2 hours). It is assumed that an article in English requires 4 hours of reading and an article in Portuguese two hours.

Learning Outcomes

[1] To know the problem of prevalence of sedentariness

[2]Identify the main risk factors for health and well-being and main policies against sedentariness

[3]Identify and understand different behavior profiles related with more or less health life styles

[4]Use behavioral change strategies to increase motivation and regular exercise behavior

Work Placement(s)



[1]Foundations of Exercise Psychology

[2]Exercise Psychology as a field study, Contemporary Exercise Psychology (the background)

[3]Basic concepts in Exercise Psychology: psychological constructs, validity and reliability, factor analysis, structural equation modelling

[4]Risk factors for Mental Health

[5]The psychology of physical activity behaviour: Determinants of Exercise and Physical Activity (overview); Major theories of behaviour change and applications in the context of Exercise and Physical Activity; Social–cognitive models of motivation in predicting Physical Activity Behaviour

[6]Physical Activity, Exercise and Mental Health (overview): Major implications in Mental Health components


Acquiring skills

[7]Transcultural validation of instruments to assess psychological constructs in the area of Exercise and Health Psychology: Applications from theory to practise

[8]Developing skills of systematic review  of meta-analysis skills: A systematic method that combines results of several studies that addressed a set of related research hypothesis (effect size)

[9]Testing models using structural equation modelling

Head Lecturer(s)

José Pedro Leitão Ferreira

Assessment Methods

Research work: 100.0%


[1] Fox, K.R. (1997). The Physical self: From motivation to well-being. Human Kinetics.

[2] Buckworth, J, & Dishman, R.K. (2002). Exercise Psychology. Human Kinetics.

[3] Biddle, S.J.H., & Mutrie, N. (2001). Psychology of physical activity: Determinants, well-being and interventions. London: Routledge.

[4] Biddle, S.J.H., Fox, K.R., & Boutcher, S.H. (2000). Physical activity and psychological well-being. London: Routledge.

[5] Ferreira, J.P. et al. (2004). Physical activity and promotion of mental health. Faculdade de Ciências do Desporto e Educação Física, Universidade de Coimbra.

[6] Lewis, V. (2003). Development and Disability (Second Edition). Blackwell Publishing.