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Time to get healthy: Associations of time perspective with perceived health status and health behaviors

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The present study examined the associations of time perspective (TP) with health behaviors including smoking, exercise, and body mass index (BMI), and perceptions of health status after controlling for sociodemographic factors. Participants (N = 413) completed a web-based questionnaire that included a short version of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, and reported their weight, height, smoking, and exercise frequency. Future TP was associated with more physical exercise, whereas past-negative and present-fatalistic dimensions were associated with higher BMI. Smoking was not associated with any of the TP dimensions. Additionally, all of the dimensions of TP were found to be associated with conceptually relevant perceptions of health status. Research on TP predominantly focuses on the future and the present orientation, but the findings of the present study suggest that all dimensions of TP should be used in health-related research. Also, issues regarding the role of the present-hedonistic dimension are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.
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Keywords: body mass index; exercise; health status; smoking; time perspective

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College for Humanistic Sciences, ICPS, Athens, Greece – In Collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK 2: Department of Psychology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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