In your professional careers, you will undoubtedly face many problems related to the broad topic of Exercise Psychology. Many of you will likely be treating individuals who are afflicted with one or more chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, Type II diabetes, and chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD), and secondary symptoms of these diseases/disorders are most often of a psychological or physiological nature. All of us, regardless of professional pursuits, will have to address the very complex issues of “adherence” and behavior change. With these truisms in mind, the purpose of this assignment is twofold.
First, is for you to develop skills that will allow you to address future professional or personal circumstances without relying exclusively on past experience and intuition, or without relying too heavily on authority for information or solutions a problem. This first aim dovetails with a primary objective of this class – addressed in part through this exercise – which is for you to become familiar with accessing, and taking advantage of, the scientific literature. The second aim of this project is for you to carefully read several research studies and write about a topic of personal interest to you.
Briefly, this project involves the development of a paper (approximately 4 single-spaced, typed pages) with the following structure:
(1) identifying and describing a question or real-life problem of personal interest that is related to exercise psychology or identifying a topic from class that you are personally interested in and that (hopefully) can be applied to your own professional interests.
You can choose to study (a) the consequences of exercise/physical activity for a selected population, (b) the barriers toward or beliefs about physical activity among a selected population, or (c) adherence and behavior change issues towards physical activity in a select patient population.