Blue-collar workers (N = 203) from a large food-processing plant in the south-western U.S. completed measures of perceived stress and leisure-time exercise at an initial test session in addition to a 2-month follow-up session. Mean age of the sample participants equaled 43.61 (SD = 9.79), and 69.5% of the sample were male, 71.4% were Caucasian, and 74.9% were married/cohabitating. Structural equation modeling was employed to examine the cross-lagged relationships between perceived stress and leisure-time exercise at these time points, controlling for gender, marital status, age, and yearly household income. Results indicated that a model with a path from perceptions of Time 1 stress to Time 2 exercise frequency was most parsimonious and provided acceptable model ft, suggesting that perceptions of stress are related to reductions in exercise participation in this population. However, there was little support for a relationship between Time 1 exercise participation and Time 2 perceived stress.
Lutz and Lanning are with the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX; Lochbaum is with the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; and Brewer is with Concentra Health Services, Concentra Medical Center, Waco, TX.