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Table 3 Analysis of categories of behavior and their organization into five higher order themes

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

Motivating physical activity   Motivating sedentariness
Category of behaviors/attributes  Social agents  Overall higher theme  Social agents  Category of behaviors/attributes
Healthy competition Team-mate, opposition, siblings, instructors, son/daughter Competence and progress Strangers, Team-mates, class-mates **Fear of negative social judgments
**Fear of negative social judgments Nurse
Noticing/recording progress Son/daughter, Website/App, work colleagues
Activities individualized to me Website/app/podcast, personal trainer, gym instructor Available activities, gyms/companies, government **Nothing that suits me, that I want to do
Public accountability Website/app, social media, work colleagues
Realistic pace of progress Health worker, class instructor
Showing me how to do it properly Gym instructor Team-mates/class-mates **Social comparisons (I compare badly)
**Social comparisons (I compare well) Work colleagues, friends
**The nature of the activity on offer has to suit me Available activities
“Happy coincidences” – facilitating PA by accident or shared interest Social media, employer, family, work colleagues, event organizers Pragmatics and logistics Husband/wife/partner, Daughter/son, child, Grand-children, Family, Employer Family and work always come above exercise/PA
**Beneficial geography or local area Physical environment, government Physical environment, government **Geographical and local issues
Wife/husband/partner, Team-mates **Not supporting, or removing support
**Logistical/pragmatic support Husband/wife/partner, family, gym instructor Gyms/companies, physical environment, available activities **Poor provision of facilities/opportunities
Friends Social events can undermine PA
**Special projects and initiatives Government, physical environment, employer Government, Employer **Lack of special projects and initiatives
Available activities, gyms/companies, government **Lack of targeted/specialist provision
**Workload directly relates to PA Employer, physical environment (commute) Employer, Family, Physical Environment (commute) **Workload directly relates to PA
**Consistency of messages between sources Media, General Practitioner Informational influences Media, physical environment, available activities, family, friends, cultural norms “Too many temptations” towards sedentariness
My job gives me awareness of key issues Employers, work colleagues Media **Inconsistency of messages between sources
Personal assessments opened my eyes Exercise referral worker Media **Demotivating, desensitizing, and making me feel hopeless
Raising awareness and ‘making me think’ Media, government Employers (and clients), cultural norms, Media **Norms promoting sedentariness
Referrals and recommendations General practitioner, nurse, work colleagues
**Role models and leading by example Husband/wife/spouse, Parents, Brother/Sister, Strangers, neighbors, work colleagues, media General practitioner **Failing to raise the issue with me
**Shocking images/stories scare me Media, government
**Norms promoting physical activity Friends, work/study colleagues, society/culture Husband/wife/partner, Parent/father/mother, Family, Friend **Their sedentariness limits what I can do
**Warning signs and alarm bells GPs, media, family (e.g., older), friends getting sick
Allowing “me time” – to do it, or during Husband/wife, friends, Team-mates, gym colleagues Emotional influences Friends **Looking after (or spending time) with sedentary friends
**Altruism – supporting each other Exercise class-mates, daughter/son/child Husband/wife/partner **Lack of support/encouragement
**Moral support, encouragement, interest Husband/wife/spouse, son/daughter/child, Parents, Website/App, Husband/wife/partner, Parent/father/mother **Constant reminders can demotivate
**Prompting/reminding - of PA or health Daughter, Wife/partner, Father/mother, friends, team-mates Husband/wife/partner, Parent/father/mother, family, Friend, online gaming peers **We engage in sedentary behavior together
**We do activity together Husband/wife/spouse, son/daughter/child, Parents, Brother/Sister, Friends, Classmates/Team-mates
“Do it for your family” – being a reason to stay healthy Children, family Relatedness and belonging Work colleagues, Family, Team-mates, Online gaming peers **Group membership motivates sedentariness
“Mutual pushing” – doing it together and pushing each other Wife/Husband/partner, Son/Daughter, Work colleague, team-mate Personal trainer, gym instructor, class instructor **Poor relationship with instructor
**Group membership in relation to PA fosters commitment Team-mates, class mates, friends, strangers, husband/wife/partner
**PA provides opportunities to improve/expand social bonds Parent/father/mother, husband/wife/partner, team-mates, class-mates Online gaming peers, Husband/wife/partner, Family, Friends **Social network supports sedentariness
**Good relationship with instructor Personal trainer, gym instructor, class instructor
  1. Mirrored themes are highlighted with italic font and a (**) symbol. Social agents are paired with the categories of behavior for illustration. Each category may contain between 2 and 20 raw themes