A systematic review was conducted on the efficacy of interventions to improve physical
activity. PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science were scanned for eligible studies published from
1978 to August 2021, resulting in a total of 52 relevant studies for review. The Downs and Black
checklist was used as a quality assessment tool for risk of bias assessment. The 52 studies were then
broadly categorised into three major approach types: informational, behavioural and/or social, as
well as direct. Within each major approach, studies were further sub-categorised into more specific
intervention types before being assessed for their efficacy and applicability. Overall, the intervention
types that seemed to be the most efficacious in increasing physical activity levels were those that
involved home-based information provision, community-wide campaigns, incentivised change,
individually adapted health behaviour programs, family-based social support interventions and the
provision of self-monitoring tools. However, the results must be interpreted holistically, as many of
the successful interventions included more than one approach type and success is likely contingent on
effectively addressing several concurrent facets.
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