Does domain-specific time perspective predict accelerometer assessed physical activity? An examination of ecological moderators

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Objectives:The primary objective of this study was to examine the association between time perspective (domain-general or domain-specific) and accelerometer-assessed physical activity behavior in ecological conditions (i.e., ambient temperature and precipitation levels) that vary in the implementational opportunities that they provide.Design:Prospective observational study.Methods:The study sample consisted of 208 community dwelling residents, free of functional impairments, stratified by age. Physical activity was assessed using a hip mounted tri-axial accelerometer worn during waking hours for 7 consecutive days. Participants completed the time perspective questionnaire, exercise version (TPQ-E) at baseline, to assess tendencies toward present versus future-oriented thinking about physical activity behavior. Ecological support for physical activity was assessed as average weekly temperature and precipitation patterns for the week that the accelerometer was worn by each participant.Results:Findings revealed main effects of both temperature and time perspective on accelerometer-assessed physical activity. Most importantly, there was also a significant two way interaction between domain-specific time perspective and temperature, such that future-oriented individuals were more likely to increase their activity level when temperatures were warmer (and therefore more activity-supportive) than their less future-oriented counterparts. Precipitation level was not associated with activity level alone or in combination with time perspective.Conclusions:The effect of domain specific-time perspective on accelerometer assessed physical activity is moderated by ambient temperature. In the current study, present and future-oriented participants were active at similar levels when temperatures were cool; when conditions were warmer (i.e., more supportive of physical activity) those with more future-oriented time perspectives were more active than their present-oriented counterparts. These effects were invariant by age group.

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