Building on well-supported theoretical foundations [54], participants randomized to these groups will undergo a 1-year of individually tailored telephone support to facilitate and maintain behaviour change [55]. Given that no “best” strategy exists for increasing physical activity levels [56], this behavioural support intervention will use an integrated model of modifiable determinants of physical activity behaviour to address intra- and inter-personal determinants [54, 57]. Support provided will address one or more constructs within the domains of cognitive, behavioural, and social support, with the specific behaviour change strategy determined by discussion with participants. Cognitive strategies target peoples’ thoughts and perspectives surrounding exercise behaviour and include techniques such as inquiring about individuals’ perceptions of the reasons underlying their motivation, intentions, and attitudes/beliefs. The behavioural domain will target strategies to alter exercise behaviour, focusing on developing skills to initiate or cue exercise behaviour and/or reduce counterproductive behaviours, including strategies such as goal setting, stimulus control, action planning, and coping planning. Finally, social strategies emphasize interpersonal resources and barriers and focus on seeking and leveraging interpersonal resources and social environments to encourage exercise, such as seeking group and/or partner exercise settings, emotional and/or informational social support, and modelling.

Participants allocated to receive support will be contacted by telephone to take part in a 15–30-min support discussion with a trained study staff member. Because early repetition of healthy behaviours is thought to precipitate larger increases in automaticity and habit formation [58], participants will receive four support phone calls within the first half of the behaviour support intervention and two in the second half.

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