Beyond health messaging: a behavioural economics approach to increasing self-selected distance during an acute bout of cycling

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer L. Etnier, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the perceived purpose of exercising on the self-selected distance peddled during an acute cycling task. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups (health, wealth, charity). All participants watched a video emphasizing the health benefits of performing at least 30 min of daily exercise. Those in the health group were not provided any additional information. Those in the wealth group were then informed that they would earn money for every two kilometres cycled. Those in the charity group were informed that they would earn money for a charity for every two kilometres cycled. Participants were not given a time/distance limit and were instructed to cycle until they chose to stop. Analyses revealed that participants in the wealth and charity group cycled significantly farther than those in the health group (approximately twice as far). Additionally, a significant sex by group interaction showed that women cycled farther for charity while men cycled farther for wealth. These results suggest that health messages used to increase exercise behaviour may benefit from exploring how paradigms from behavioural economics influence behaviors that have relevance to public health.

Additional Information

European Journal of Sport Science, 18(9), 1264-1270
Language: English
Date: 2018
Exercise, health, psychology, performance, self

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