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Mark Conner, Wendy Rodgers, and Terra Murray

The present study examined the moderating role of conscientiousness within the theory of planned behavior (TPB) for exercise behavior during usual vs. unusual context. Affective and cognitive attitude, subjective and descriptive norm, perceived behavioral control, behavioral intention, past behavior, conscientiousness, and self-reported behavior were assessed in relation to exercising in a sample of university students (n = 146). Conscientiousness was found to significantly moderate the intention–behavior relationship when the behavior was performed in unusual context (exercising during a reading week of term), but not when behavior was performed in usual context (exercising during a normal week of term). The find-ings indicate a role for conscientiousness in understanding intention–behavior relationships when the context of behavior is changing or unknown.

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Gordon J. Bell, Vicki Harber, Terra Murray, Kerry S. Courneya, and Wendy Rodgers

Background:

Fitness and health variables were measured in 128 sedentary men and women randomly assigned to 6 months of fitness training (F), a walking program (W), or a control (C) group.

Methods:

The F program gradually increased volume and intensity until 4 d/wk of training, at 70% of peak VO2 for 43 min/session was prescribed while the W group performed daily walking monitored with pedometers and increased until 10,000 steps×d−1 were prescribed. Total weekly energy expenditure was matched between the activity groups. The control group was asked to maintain their usual activity.

Results:

Body mass, waist circumference, waist/hip ratio, resting HR were reduced in all groups after 6 months (P < .05). Fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, and total cholesterol were similarly improved in all groups (P < .05). Blood pressure and HR decreased during submaximal exercise in all groups (P < .05) but rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was decreased only in the F group (P < .05). Only the F participants showed a significant increase in ventilatory threshold (VT; ~15%) and peak VO2 (~9%) after 6 months.

Conclusions:

Supervised fitness training in previously sedentary adults produced greater improvements in submaximal RPE, BPsys, VT, and peak VO2 but not other fitness and health-related variables compared with a pedometer-based walking program matched for total energy cost.