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Table 1 Recommendations and specific avenues for physical activity leadership research

From: Equipping Physical Activity Leaders to Facilitate Behaviour Change: An Overview, Call to Action, and Roadmap for Future Research

Recommendation Avenues for research
1. Conduct research in novel and varied contexts – Focus on underexplored contexts where leaders are present (e.g. video-guided workouts)
– Examine context-specific differences in the optimal behaviours and strategies for leaders to adopt
– Compare individual versus group settings; groups with consistent versus interchangeable members; settings with face-to-face versus virtual leaders
2. Focus on insufficiently active populations – Screen for, and recruit, samples who are insufficiently active or who have recently begun engaging in structured exercise
– Examine the effectiveness of different leadership styles and strategies for sustaining new exercisers’ participation
– Aim to inform the development of materials that are specifically tailored for insufficiently active populations
3. Utilise qualitative methods – Explore what people believe it is important for physical activity leaders to do, what makes them effective, and what this looks like in practice
– Map findings against leadership theories to identify those with the greatest potential in the physical activity domain
– Use qualitative methods to identify specific considerations for leaders working with insufficiently active populations
4. Focus on translation and implementation – Identify concrete ways for leaders to engage in effective forms of leadership in practice
– Develop interventions that aim to increase leaders’ capacity to facilitate people’s more frequent attendance of leader-led sessions, improved behaviours and experiences within sessions, and greater overall physical activity
– Explore the feasibility and acceptability of such interventions for leaders, and barriers to their systematic uptake by those who would deliver them, with a view to maximising the potential for interventions to be widely and cost-effectively distributed