Using concept mapping in the development of the EU-PAD framework (EUropean-Physical Activity Determinants across the life course): a DEDIPAC-study

Giancarlo Condello, Fiona Chun Man Ling, Antonino Bianco, Sebastien Chastin, Greet Cardon, Donatella Ciarapica, Daniele Conte, Cristina Cortis, Marieke De Craemer, Andrea Di Blasio, Masar Gjaka, Sylvia Hansen, Michelle Holdsworth, Licia Iacoviello, Pascal Izzicupo, Lina Jaeschke, Liliana Leone, Livia Manoni, Cristina Menescardi, Silvia MigliaccioJulie-Anne Nazare, Camille Perchoux, Caterina Pesce, Frank Pierik, Tobias Pischon, Angela Polito, Anna Puggina, Alessandra Sannella, Wolfgang Schlicht, Holger Schulz, Chantal Simon, Astrid Steinbrecher, Ciaran MacDonncha, Laura Capranica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: A large proportion of European children, adults and older adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity (PA). Understanding individual and contextual factors associated with PA behaviours is essential for the identification and implementation of effective preventative environments, policies, and programmes that can promote an active lifestyle across life course and can potentially improve health. The current paper intends to provide 1) a multi-disciplinary, Pan-European and life course view of key determinants of PA behaviours and 2) a proposal of how these factors may cluster.

METHODS: After gathering a list of 183 potential PA behaviours-associated factors and a consensus meeting to unify/consolidate terminology, a concept mapping software was used to collate European experts' views of 106 identified factors for youth (<19 years), adults (19-64 years), and older adults (≥65 years). The analysis evaluated common trends in the clustering of factors and the ratings of the distinct factors' expected modifiability and population-level impact on PA behaviours across the life course. Priority for research was also assessed for each cluster.

RESULTS: The concept mapping resulted in six distinct clusters, broadly merged in two themes: 1) the 'Person', which included clusters 'Intra-Personal Context and Wellbeing' and 'Family and Social Economic Status' (42 % of all factors) and 2) the 'Society', which included the remaining four clusters 'Policy and Provision', 'Cultural Context and Media', 'Social Support and Modelling', and 'Supportive Environment' (58 % of all factors). Overall, 25 factors were rated as the most impactful on PA behaviours across the life course and being the most modifiable. They were mostly situated in the 'Intra-Personal Context and Wellbeing' cluster. Furthermore, 16 of them were rated as top priority for research.

CONCLUSIONS: The current framework provides a preliminary overview of factors which may account for PA behaviour across the life course and are most relevant to the European community. These insights could potentially be a foundation for future Pan-European research on how these factors might interact with each other, and assist policy makers to identify appropriate interventions to maximize PA behaviours and thus the health of European citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1145
Number of pages16
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Consensus
  • Environment
  • Europe
  • European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics & numerical data
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health/methods
  • Research
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult
  • Factors
  • Priority for research
  • Youth
  • Active lifestyles
  • Older adults
  • Adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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