Can Short-Range Intentions Predict Physical Activity Participation?

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This study examined the issue of proximity of intention in the physical activity domain by employing both short-range (2 and 3 days) and longer range (4 weeks) intentions in the prediction of participation in physical activity. Subjects were 42 undergraduate students who completed intention and physical activity assessments every class (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) for six weeks and also a single assessment four weeks apart. Analysis indicated that short-range intention is a better predictor of physical activity than is the longer range intention; however, even the short-range intention-physical activity correlations were only of modest magnitude. Interpretation of the results focused on the potential nonvolitional nature of physical activity and the possible role of perceived behavioral control and behavioral expectation.

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