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Table 2 Summary of the motivational influences towards either physical activity or sedentariness from each social agent

From: Auditing the socio-environmental determinants of motivation towards physical activity or sedentariness in work-aged adults: a qualitative study

Social agent Behaviors and attributes reported to motivate physical activity Behaviors and attributes reported to motivate sedentary behavior
Husband/wife/partner Allowing me time to be active, constantly prompting me to be active, role modeling PA behavior, doing activities together, encouraging me, reminds me of friends made through PA, looks after kids while I go. Disinterested, does not approve, begrudges time spent away being active, is very sedentary him/herself, we are sedentary together (TV), works too much/late. Reminders can be demotivating. Reminders needed/appreciated. Could help by looking after kids while I am active.
Parents/father/mother Setting a good example, prompting/asking, preferring to be outdoors, taking an interest and supporting, “showing my future”. Prefer to take car which means I have to too.
Brother/Sister Accompanying me, teaching me new skills, sibling rivalry  
Children/son/daughter Helping him/her ends up making me active too, taking an interest in my PA, noticing my achievements, accompanying parent to gym, prompting/pushing parent to be active. Looking after kids leaves me exhausted, being sick/requiring care prevents PA opportunities, I would rather spend time with them, insisting on sedentary activities (video games)
Family Doing everything together (inc. PA), making PA our norm, letting me fit PA around them, being a reason to stay healthy. Our routine is to watch TV in an evening, family comes before ‘personal’ activities, having children takes over your life, having no help to run household reduces PA opportunities, any illness/problem would have to come before PA.
Grand children Requiring a lot of activity to look after After caring for them I can’t face any PA.
Friend/Friends Introducing me, recommending activities, being ‘sporty’, being another reason for me to attend, group membership/belonging, allowing me time alone too. Being lethargic/sedentary meant I had to be if I wanted to be with them, being unable to walk far means parking closer, no friend to help/support me, we became friends through sedentary activities (gaming, drinking), socializing trumps PA (rarer/more important)
Online gaming peers   I made friends through online gaming, encouraging me to stay online (sed.) a bit longer.
Work-mates or study colleagues Being active themselves, insisting on taking the stairs, recommending classes/activities, agreeing to do activities together, identifying a person as ‘active/sporty’, being in poor health as an example to avoid. Not interested in PA.
Neighbors Going for regular walks  
Strangers (adults, older, younger) Showing me what is possible, building relationships during active commuting. Being rude during PA – at gym or in sport, appearing to have negative attitude towards those who exercise.
Team-mates or opponents (sport) Group membership/belongingness, asking me to return after I quit, using sport for social time, building friendships through sport, allowing quiet time when I need it. Boasting so I want to beat them. Attaching social events (drinking) to training/games, quitting can scupper a team/group (e.g., if 4 needed); being too good, or appearing intolerant of beginners, making negative comments.
Gym Colleagues Going as a pair creates commitment, leaving me alone when I need it.  
Gym Instructor Helping find right equipment, teaching me the right technique, challenging me to races/goals  
Class Instructor A great teacher, differentiates tasks, seeks gradual improvement not step changes  
Personal Trainer Tailoring program to specific needs, personalizing program to disability, structuring program so progress is self-evident, challenging me to races/goals. Shouting or using negative motivation
Exercise referral worker/health worker Performing (and following up) lifestyle audit, referring me for extra treatment, helping me find and take opportunities to be active.  
General Practitioner Diagnosing illness and detailing consequences, highlighting risk factors and detailing consequences, advising me to lose weight or reduce blood pressure, informing me of warning signs to avoid/manage, referring me for specialist help No advice given implies I must be ok.
Practice Nurse Referrals to exercise or weight management groups, being a bit stern so I fear negative judgment.  
Exercise class-mates Creating a social bond and sense of belonging, needing my help to motivate them, pushing me – by sheer presence or deliberate/vocal  
Employer Jobs that involve promoting PA and health, workplace schemes to be active, reducing workload or allowing flexible hours High workload prevents PA, long hours prevent PA, workload direct inverse relationship to PA, work is more important than PA, Stress makes me not feel like PA, job involves being sedentary, design of workplace undermines PA, inconsistent work patterns so cannot join class/team; work plus family leaves no time for PA, no schemes or initiatives, long commute leaves no time.
Event organizers and community groups Publicizing event details, allowing me to get involved by organizing sparked interest  
Gyms/companies   Too expensive, need flexible membership options, high expectations of beginners, over-crowded gym, no entry level activities, need a crèche, need classes targeting new mums.
Government Incentives and schemes, information campaigns, parking charges Restricting access to certain locations (reservoirs), poor public transport, removing funding from schemes that were working.
Media Educating and informing, reinforcing advice from doctors (or good advice), bringing the issue straight into our home, showing extreme images and worst cases, promoting local events and initiatives, prompting me to see GP, providing a constant ‘nudge’ Inconsistent/contradictory messages, attention grabbing so I sit and read/watch, “so many opportunities”, shock tactics can desensitize me, promoting particular body image demotivates me, targeting certain groups over others. “TV is the main threat”
Cultural norms “Slim women”, “muscular men”, “overweight=bad” Its “just normal” to curl up in and evening and put the heating on, need to look smart for job (cannot get rained on or sweaty), simple gender roles dictate wife stays indoors.
Social media Making us aware of upcoming events, sharing achievements Telling us that everyone these days is inactive, making other people seem super-human
Websites, apps and podcasts Information is helpful, recording calories, announces/publicizes my achievements  
Available activities Suited to individual preferences (group/individual, competitive/classes) Everything seems expensive, too far away = unable to travel, changing format of sessions put me off, pace was too high/low.
Physical Environment Facilities are close by, converting disused land/facilities into PA opportunities. No facilities in my area, transport costs too high, need to be within walking distance, not safe to cycle on these roads, quality of facilities is poor