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Many individuals are not as physically active as recommended or as intended. The aim of the current study was to compare the prevalence of physical activity with official recommendations as well as with individuals’ intentions. Moreover, mechanisms were explored further. Therefore, 492 men and women were assessed three times over a time span of approximately 3 and 6.5 weeks, respectively. As expected, behavioral prevalence was lower than recommendations and intentions. Previous behavior, intentions and self-efficacy predicted subsequent behavior. When analyzing non-linear relationships between intentions and behavior, a moderate level of intentions appeared to be best for subsequent performance: Good intentions have to be realistic in order to be translated into behavior. This is especially important for individuals being overweight or obese because particular recommendations exist for them performing physical activities.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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