Affect, Exercise, and Physical Activity among Healthy Adolescents

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Many adolescents do not meet public health recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). In studies of variables influencing adolescent MVPA, one that has been understudied is the affective response to exercise. We hypothesized that adolescents with a more positive affective response to acute exercise would be more active. Adolescents (N = 124; 46% male) completed two 30-min exercise tasks (above and below the ventilatory threshold [VT]), and wore ActiGraph accelerometers for 6.5 ± 0.7 days. Affective valence was assessed before, during, and after each task. A more positive affective response during exercise below the VT was associated with greater participation in MVPA (p < .05). The results are consistent with the hypothesis that individuals who have a more positive affective response to exercise will engage in more MVPA. To promote greater participation in MVPA among adolescents, programs should be designed to facilitate a positive affective experience during exercise.

Schneider is with the Department of Planning, Policy and Design, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA. Dunn is with Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, CO. Cooper is with the Department of Pediatrics, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA.