No research exists that examines attentional bias for exercise related stimuli, yet this is an important area as it is possible that nonexercisers are not paying attention to exercise related cues, thereby limiting the potential effectiveness of health promotion advertising. This research used a Stroop task to examine attentional bias for exercise and sedentary-lifestyle related stimuli. Experiment 1 included exercise related words and matched control words and revealed that exerciser schematics showed delayed response latencies for exercise related words. Experiment 2 expanded on Experiment 1 by further including sedentary-lifestyle related words and matched control words. Results replicated the first study and further revealed that nonexerciser schematics showed delayed response latencies for sedentary-lifestyle related words but not for exercise related words. Results are discussed in terms of attentional bias or the possibility of a threat-driven slowdown, and in relation to health promotion and exercise behavior.
Sean R. Locke and Tanya R. Berry
To better understand exercise-related cognitive errors (ECEs) from a dual processing perspective, the purpose of this study was to examine their relationship to two automatic exercise processes. It was hypothesized that ECEs would account for more variance than automatic processes in predicting intentions, that ECEs would interact with automatic processes to predict intentions, and that exercise schema would distinguish between different levels of ECEs. Adults (N = 136, M age = 29 years, 42.6% women) completed a cross-sectional study and responded to three survey measures (ECEs, exercise self-schema, and exercise intentions) and two computerized implicit tasks (the approach/avoid task and single-category Implicit Association Test). ECEs were not correlated with the two implicit measures; however, ECEs moderated the relationship between approach tendency toward exercise stimuli and exercise intentions. Exercise self-schema were differentiated by ECE level. This study expands our knowledge of ECEs by examining their relationship to different automatic and reflective processes.
Alison Divine, Tanya Berry, Wendy Rodgers, and Craig Hall
Background: Recent physical activity research is limited by intention–behavior discordance and is beginning to recognize the importance of automatic processes in exercise. The purpose of the current study was to examine the role of multidimensional exercise self-efficacy (SE), explicit–implicit evaluative discrepancies (EIEDs) for health, and appearance on the intention–behavior gap in exercise. Methods: A total of 141 middle-aged inactive participants (mean age = 46.12 [8.17] y) completed measures of intentions, SE, and explicit and implicit evaluations of exercise outcomes. The participants were classified as inclined actors (n = 107) if they successfully started the exercise program and inclined abstainers (n = 35) if they were not successful. Results: The inclined actors and abstainers did not differ on intentions to exercise; however, the inclined actors had higher coping SE and lower EIEDs for health. In addition, the coping SE (Exp [β] = 1.03) and EIEDs for health (Exp [β] = −0.405) were significant predictors of being an inclined actor. Conclusions: The interaction between explicit and implicit processes in regard to health motives for exercise appears to influence the successful enactment of exercise from positive intentions. As most physical activity promotion strategies focus on health as a reason to be active, the role of implicit and explicit evaluations on behavioral decisions to exercise may inform future interventions.
Elaine M. Ori, Tanya R. Berry, and Lira Yun
It is unknown how lifelong digital media users such as young adult women perceive exercise information found online. A total of 141 women aged 18–30 years and residing in Canada were randomized to read either a factually incorrect or a factually correct blog article. Participants completed Go/No-Go tasks to measure automatically activated believability and evaluations and questionnaires to explicitly measure believability, affective evaluations, and intentions to exercise. Participants did not show evidence of automatically activated believability of the content found in either blog article. However, participants reading the factually correct article reported significantly greater explicit disbelief than those reading the factually incorrect article, though this did not predict intentions. Being factually correct may not be an important component of message believability. Exercise professionals need to remain aware of the content of popular online sources of information in an effort to curb misinformation.
Tanya R. Berry, Wendy M. Rodgers, Alison Divine, and Craig Hall
Discrepancies between automatically activated associations (i.e., implicit evaluations) and explicit evaluations of motives (measured with a questionnaire) could lead to greater information processing to resolve discrepancies or self-regulatory failures that may affect behavior. This research examined the relationship of health and appearance exercise-related explicit–implicit evaluative discrepancies, the interaction between implicit and explicit evaluations, and the combined value of explicit and implicit evaluations (i.e., the summed scores) to dropout from a yearlong exercise program. Participants (N = 253) completed implicit health and appearance measures and explicit health and appearance motives at baseline, prior to starting the exercise program. The sum of implicit and explicit appearance measures was positively related to weeks in the program, and discrepancy between the implicit and explicit health measures was negatively related to length of time in the program. Implicit exercise evaluations and their relationships to oft-cited motives such as appearance and health may inform exercise dropout.
Gavin R. McCormack, John C. Spence, Tanya Berry, and Patricia K. Doyle-Baker
Research regarding the pathways via which the environment influences physical activity is limited. This study examined the role of perceived behavioral control (PBC) in mediating the relationship between perceptions of neighborhood walkability and frequency of moderate (MODPA) and vigorous physical activity (VIGPA).
Data were collected through a province-wide survey of physical activity. Telephone-interviews were conducted with 1207 adults and captured information about perceptions of neighborhood walkability, physical activity, PBC and demographics. Gender-stratified regression analyses were conducted to test PBC mediation of the built environment-physical activity association.
Among women easy access to places for physical activity was positively associated with MODPA and VIGPA. Having many shops and places within walking distance of homes was also positively associated with MODPA among women however; reporting sidewalks on most neighborhood streets, and crime rate in the neighborhood were negatively correlated with MODPA. Among men, easy access to places for physical activity was positively associated and crime rate in the neighborhood negatively associated, with VIGPA. After adjusting for PBC, the association between easy access to places for physical activity and VIGPA and MODPA attenuated for men and women suggesting mediation of this association by PBC.
PBC mediated the relationship between easy access to places for physical activity and physical activity, but not for other perceived environmental attributes.
Tanya R. Berry, Wendy M. Rodgers, David Markland, and Craig R. Hall
Investigating implicit–explicit concordance can aid in understanding underlying mechanisms and possible intervention effects. This research examined the concordance between implicit associations of exercise with health or appearance and related explicit motives. Variables considered as possible moderators were behavioral regulations, explicit attitudes, and social desirability. Participants (N = 454) completed measures of implicit associations of exercise with health and appearance and questionnaire measures of health and appearance motives, attitudes, social desirability, and behavioral regulations. Attitudes significantly moderated the relationship between implicit associations of exercise with health and health motives. Identified regulations significantly moderated implicit–explicit concordance with respect to associations with appearance. These results suggest that implicit and explicit exercise-related cognitions are not necessarily independent and their relationship to each other may be moderated by attitudes or some forms of behavioral regulation. Future research that takes a dual-processing approach to exercise behavior should consider potential theoretical moderators of concordance.
Wendy M. Rodgers, Craig R. Hall, Philip M. Wilson, and Tanya R. Berry
The purpose of this research was to examine whether exercisers and nonexercisers are rated similarly on a variety of characteristics by a sample of randomly selected regular exercisers, nonexercisers who intend to exercise, and nonexercisers with no intention to exercise. Previous research by Martin Ginis et al. (2003) has demonstrated an exerciser stereotype that advantages exercisers. It is unknown, however, the extent to which an exerciser stereotype is shared by nonexercisers, particularly nonintenders. Following an item-generation procedure, a sample of 470 (n = 218 men; n = 252 women) people selected using random digit dialing responded to a questionnaire assessing the extent to which they agreed that exercisers and nonexercisers possessed 24 characteristics, such as “happy,” “fit,” “fat,” and “lazy.” The results strongly support a positive exerciser bias, with exercisers rated more favorably on 22 of the 24 items. The degree of bias was equivalent in all groups of respondents. Examination of the demographic characteristics revealed no differences among the three groups on age, work status, or child-care responsibilities, suggesting that there is a pervasive positive exerciser bias.
Lira Yun, Elaine M. Ori, Younghan Lee, Allison Sivak, and Tanya R. Berry
Mass media campaign is an integral tool to influence physical activity participant behaviors. The purpose of the systematic review was to identify the effectiveness of mass media campaigns in promoting physical activity.
Literature update from January 2010 to September 2016 was conducted in 13 databases. Full text articles of 128 were screened, and 23 articles (18 campaigns) were selected from the initial 1692 articles.
All campaigns involved mass media advertisements to promote physical activity to general individuals (n = 2), adults (8), children (4), older adults (2), and parents of children (n = 2). The campaign evaluation designs included clustered RCT (2), cohort (3), quasi-experimental (9), and cross-sectional (9). Eight articles demonstrated significant campaign impact on proximal, 6 on intermediate, 5 on distal outcomes, and 6 on distal change based on either proximal or intermediate outcome.
The current review assessed the outcome evaluation of mass media physical activity campaigns that varied in their respective scope, target population and outcomes measured to identify individual changes at proximal, intermediate, and distal level. Results from formative and process evaluation as well as dose-response and cost-effective analysis are suggested to provide valuable evidence for campaign stakeholders and planners.