Acute affective response to a moderate-intensity exercise stimulus predicts physical activity participation 6 and 12 months later

David M. Williams, Shira Dunsiger, Joseph T. Ciccolo, Beth A. Lewis, Anna E. Albrecht, Bess H. Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

327 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Examine the relationship between acute affective responses during a moderate-intensity exercise stimulus and future physical activity participation. Design: Longitudinal, observational study in the context of a randomized controlled trial. Methods: Healthy, sedentary adults (n=37) reported their basic affective response (i.e., feel good versus bad) prior to and during an acute, moderate-intensity exercise stimulus presented prior to randomization in a controlled physical activity promotion trial. At 6 and 12 months, 31 of the 37 participants reported their total weekly minutes of physical activity. Results: As hypothesized, basic affective response to the moderate-intensity stimulus predicted 6-month physical activity (β=.51, p=.013) when controlling for baseline physical activity and self-reported affect prior to the initial exercise stimulus, and 12-month physical activity (β=.45, p=.047) when also controlling for 6-month physical activity. Conclusions: Affective response to an acute moderate-intensity exercise stimulus predicted self-reported physical activity 6 and 12 months later. The findings could have implications for prescription of exercise intensity, as exercising at an intensity that yields a positive affective response may lead to greater participation in physical activity programs among previously sedentary adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-245
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Exercise
  • Feeling Scale
  • Physical activity

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