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Psychol Sport Exerc. 2010 Jan 1;11(1):71-79.

Affective response to exercise as a component of exercise motivation: Attitudes, norms, self-efficacy, and temporal stability of intentions.

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  • 1University of Colorado at Boulder.



A positive affective response is associated with increased participation in voluntary exercise, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are not well known. Consistent with a Theory of Planned Behaviour perspective, we tested whether affective response to exercise leads to greater motivation in terms of attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy and intentions to exercise. We were also specifically interested in whether a positive affective response leads to more temporally stable intentions.


Participants (N = 127) self-reported Theory of Planned Behaviour constructs and exercise behavior at baseline and three months later, and provided reports of exercise-related affect during a 30-minute bout of moderate intensity treadmill exercise at baseline.


We show that participants who experience greater improvements in positive affect, negative affect and fatigue during exercise tended to report more positive attitudes, exercise self-efficacy and intentions to exercise three months later. Affective response was not predictive of subjective norms. As hypothesized, positive affective response was associated with more stable intentions over time.


We conclude that a positive affective response to acute bouts of exercise can aid in building and sustaining exercise motivation over time.

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