WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO: AN EXPLORATION OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES FOR EXERCISE BEHAVIOR
Allyson G. Box, Jonathan R. North, Steven J. Petruzzello, FACSM. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.
BACKGROUND: Even with the well-known and well-advertised preventative and therapeutic benefits of regular exercise, only ~20-25% of adults self-report meeting exercise recommendations, and the prevalence decreases to ~10-15% when behavior is assessed using device-based recordings. With 75-90% of adults failing to engage in enough exercise to reap the health benefits, it is crucial to direct efforts towards understanding why individuals do or do not choose to engage in exercise behavior. PURPOSE: Determine the extent to which personality dispositions and exercise attitudes explain future exercise behavior. METHODS: Undergraduates (N=84, 20±2 yrs, 50 ♀, 73% regular exercisers) completed an online survey to assess Extraversion (E), Conscientiousness (C), and Neuroticism (N; via Big Five Inventory), as well as exercise attitudes (via Affective Exercise Experiences). 2-weeks following initial survey completion, participants completed a 7-day journal where exercise type, intensity, duration, and frequency were self-reported each day. Separate, stepwise regressions were performed to determine explained variance on average exercise intensity, average duration, and frequency. RESULTS: E, C, and N were not related to exercise intensity (rs = -0.15 - 0.00, Ps= .07-0.33), duration (rs = -0.14 - 0.02, Ps= 0.09-0.50), or frequency (rs = -0.16 - -0.04, Ps= 0.07-0.33) and were removed from subsequent regression models. Affective attitudes toward exercise explained significant variance in average exercise intensity (F(3,80)=7.85, P<0.001, R2adj =0.20) and exercise frequency (F(3,80)=2.91, P=0.040, R2adj =0.07), but did not explain variance in average exercise duration (F(3,80)=1.99, P=0.122, R2adj=0.04). CONCLUSION: While E, C, and N were not related to self-reported exercise behavior, attitudes towards exercise (e.g., belief exercise will bring pleasure, preference for exercise over sedentary behavior, feeling empowered by, or a sense of competence, with exercise) explained 23% and 7% variance in average exercise intensity and frequency (i.e., d·wk-1), respectively. This suggests affective attitudes play an important role in how vigorous an individual exercises as well as provides some explanation for how frequently someone will exercise, which may result in greater health benefits.
Box, AG; North, JR; and Petruzzello, FACSM, SJ
"WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO: AN EXPLORATION OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES FOR EXERCISE BEHAVIOR,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 16:
1, Article 75.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol16/iss1/75