Bell’s Broadcast: Behaviour Change… How can this influence your motivation to exercise?

Starting an exercise program can be daunting and it is difficult to break out of old habits. However, when implementing strategies to change your behaviours it can be helpful. Whether you are trying to improve your health by committing to a consistent gym program or cutting down on sugary drinks, it is never easy.

Today, Annabel and the Longevity Exercise Physiology teams at Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne, and Barrie, Ontario – Canada discuss the stages of behaviour change (the transtheoretical model) and the techniques you can use to modify your health behaviours.

What exactly is behavioural change?

It is about altering habits and behaviours for the long term. The current research around altering health-related behaviours indicates that small changes can lead to enormous improvements in people’s health and life expectancy. These changes can then have knock-on effects on the health of others. Health behaviour change involves progress through six stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination.

There are 6 stages of behaviour change:

  1. Pre-contemplation: Individuals in this stage “are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future”. They are often unaware and uninformed that their behaviour causes negative consequences or is a concern to their overall health. For example, if you are not completing any exercise and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
  2. Contemplation: Individuals in this stage “intend to change within the next 6 months”. They are aware of the pros and cons of changing their behaviour but may still be hesitant to do so. For example, someone who wants to improve their body fat percentage but does not want to change their nutrition.
  3. Preparation: Individuals in this stage “intend to take action to change their behaviour within the immediate future.” They have completed their research and have an action plan on how they will do it. For example, they know they need to see an Exercise Physiologist for advice on how they can improve their health through exercise.

  1. Action: Individuals in this stage “have made specific…modifications in their lifestyle and have changed their behaviour”. They have implemented the plans they made in the preparation stage. For example, consistently going for a walk for 30mins per day.
  2. Maintenance: In this stage people work to prevent relapse. They build their confidence in the behaviour so that can continue the change. For example, someone who has been following the physical activity guidelines consistency for a year. “This stage can last anywhere from 6 months to 5 years.”
  3. Termination: In this stage people have 100% self-efficacy and 0% temptation to return to their old behaviours. For example, exercising for your entire life.

Starting an exercise program can be daunting, but can be very effective once we change our behaviours!

If you need motivation to get started, give Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne, and Barrie, Ontario – Canada  a call on 1300 964 002 today!



Written by Annabel Bergman 



Samdal, G., Eide, G., Barth, T., Williams, G., & Meland, E. (2017). Effective behaviour change techniques for physical activity and healthy eating in overweight and obese adults; systematic review and meta-regression analyses. International Journal Of Behavioral Nutrition And Physical Activity14(1). doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0494-y

Sinclair, E., Souza, C., Ward, A., & Seebacher, F. (2013). Exercise changes behaviour. Functional Ecology28(3), 652-659. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12198

Sullivan, A., & Lachman, M. (2017). Behavior Change with Fitness Technology in Sedentary Adults: A Review of the Evidence for Increasing Physical Activity. Frontiers In Public Health4. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00289

What Is Behavior Change in Psychology? 5 Models and Theories. (2022). Retrieved 10 August 2022, from


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