The effects of variety and novelty on physical activity and healthy nutritional behaviors

Ben Sylvester, Ben Jackson, Mark Beauchamp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Engaging in healthy behaviors—such as regular physical activity and following a nutritious and balanced diet—brings about numerous health, social, and self-evaluative benefits. It is important, therefore, to understand the various factors that might support (or thwart) individuals’ pursuit in those behaviors. The purpose of this chapter is to examine two distinct, but related, social factors that may represent opportune ways to promote both improved physical activity and healthier dietary practices. These social factors correspond to the provision and experience of variety and novelty. In this chapter, we chart conceptual definitions of variety and novelty, examine different theoretical frameworks and models that have been used to examine these constructs in health promotion settings, and evaluate how research to date has contributed to the current state of knowledge. Finally, we discuss implications for behavioral scientists and health promotion specialists, and offer recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Motivation Science
EditorsAndrew J. Elliot
Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780128141724
ISBN (Print)9780128141717
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Motivation Science
ISSN (Print)2215-0919
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0927


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