Intention–behavior gap is wider for walking and moderate physical activity than for vigorous physical activity in university students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jaclyn Maher, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objectives: The theory of planned behavior proposes that physical activity is the result of intentions; however little is known about whether the relation between intentions and behavior differs between vigorous, moderate physical activity, and walking. For university students, vigorous physical activity is oftentimes enacted as a goal-directed behavior; whereas walking is oftentimes a means to achieving a goal other than physical activity (e.g., transportation).

Design: The study was a one-week prospective study.

Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 164) reported intentions for walking, moderate physical activity, and vigorous physical activity and self-reported these behaviors one week later.

Results: Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that intentions were more strongly related to vigorous physical activity than to moderate physical activity or walking.

Conclusions: Intention-enhancing interventions may effectively promote vigorous physical activity, but other motivational processes may be more appropriate to target in interventions of walking and moderate physical activity.

Additional Information

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 19(2): 130-134. [2016]
Language: English
Date: 2016
Motivation, Theory of planned behavior, Exercise, Physical activity intensity

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