Body Weight and Perceived Social Pressure to Exercise at a Health Club

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Objective : To determine the social pressure overweight (OW, n1183) and normal-weight (NW, n550) adults perceive regarding health club exercise.

Methods : A 12-item survey, based on the theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior, measured subjective norm toward exercising at a health club 30 min, twice a week, for the next month.

Results : OW feel more social pressure to exercise at a club than do NW, but motivation to comply is the same between groups.

Conclusions : Exercise interventions for OW should capitalize on individual perceived social pressures to exercise by designing strategies to increase motivation to comply with these pressures.

Keywords: exercise behavior; exercise expectations; exercise participation; social expectations; subjective norm

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Professor and Chair, Department of Exercise Science, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Publication date: September 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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