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Psychological Factors that affect people in exercise environ

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Noah Henry

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of Psychological Factors that affect people in exercise environ

Psychological Factors that affect people in exercise environments

Factors affecting people in exercise environments
Nearly everyday, someone decides that it's time to become active and get fit. whether it be through joining a local gym or going running everyday or so. However, according to Weinberg & Gould (2007) after three months of exercising, 33% of these people would have dropped out of exercise, and after six months, 52% would have stopped. Hopefully this presentation will help explain why people stop exercising and what makes that small bunch who don't drop out continue exercising regularly.
The factors affecting people in exercise environments
There are many reason why people may stop exercising, but this presentation is going to focus on three main factors.

- Determinants of exercise adherence
- Barriers to exercise
- Behaviour change models

These are the determinants that help explain why people do or don't continue exercising on a regular basis.
Behaviour change models
Transtheoretical model of change
This model was developed by Prochaska and Di Clemente (1983) and will be applied to any person changing from a state of inactivity to a state of activity. It can be applied to any form of behaviour, for example quitting smoking or starting to exercise.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Barriers to exercise
When people stop or don't decide to even take up exercising, there are various reasons as to why this can occur. Some people may think that it is just down to laziness, but there are certain barriers or factors that can stop people from exercising.
Lack of time
Although in some cases this isn't a barrier and is rather more of an excuse to not exercise, there are some people who are unable to regularly exercise due to there being no time left in their day for exercise. This isn't the biggest barrier but it can be an issue for some.
Lack of energy
Due to the long hours that some people spend at work and travelling to and from their work place, they can start to experience stress and mental fatigue. This can be a barrier as when you are feeling stressed and tired, the last thing on most peoples mind is to go and exercise.
Lack of Motivation
Motivation is the most predictable indicator of whether someone will take action or walk away from a task, and it is constantly changing depending on the situation the individual is in. If that individual has not set goals or know what they are trying to achieve, then it will be much harder for them to stay motivated
Determinants of exercise adherence
A common reason for people dropping out of exercise is due to that person not knowing what they're trying achieve from it. This could be because they have just started because their peers have or because one of their role models does it. Unless they know what they are trying to gain then it is likely they will end up stopping. There are strategies that people use to prevent dropping out and promote adherence.
Setting Targets and Goals
Setting targets is a good way of directing an individual's efforts towards something achievable that will benefit them. When setting targets there is a principle that should be followed to avoid affecting the individuals motivation negatively. This is known as the SMART principle.
- Specific goals: related to the certain aspect of fitness the individual wants to improve
- Measurable: the target must be quantifiable
- Achievable: the target mustn't be set too high to ensure it can be achieved
- Realistic: similar to achievable, the target must be realistic
- Time-Constrained: there must be a deadline when the target should be reached
The Strategies
The following are the strategies used by people to try and prevent them dropping out and to keep them going

- Setting targets and goals
- Decision balance sheets

This will give the individual a reason to keep exercising and they will know what they are going to gain from exercising.
Decision balance sheet
When making the decision of whether or not to start exercising, individuals should make a decision balance sheet. This method helps the individual to see both the benefits and pains of taking action and not taking action. That way the individual can see which one outweighs the other and which will lead to the greatest pleasure and least pain. The individuals should be aware that they are taking action for two reasons, to gain the benefits of taking action and to avoid the consequences of not taking action.
The following are things that can influence the individuals decision
- Prompts: placing reminders around the house to keep the thought of exercising on the individuals mind
- Rewards: the individual should give themselves an extrinsic reward for completing goals or exercising, but this reward should not conflict with the reasons for exercising, such as an all out feast.
- Social support: the individual should surround themselves with a group of like-minded people who have similar targets and are available to meet up on occasions and exercise together.
Goals can be set either as a long-term or short-term goal. Long-term is known as a outcome goal, which is the final result you are aiming for. Short-term goals are known as process goals, which are the smaller things you want to achieve in order to make the outcome goal possible. To help set yourself goals, there are some question that you should ask yourself in order to know what you are aiming for.
- What do i want to achieve?
- Where am i now?
- What do i need to do to get to where i want to be?
There are also other factors that contribute to an individual exercising. This includes finances, lack of facilities within your environment or a lack of social support from peers
The health belief model
Theory of planned behaviour
- Pre-contemplation: this is the stage before any thought has occurred to change behaviour and the individual is happy to stay inactive.
- Contemplation: this is the stage when that individual has contemplated changing their behaviour.
- Preparation: this is when the individual begins to prepare physically and psychologically for their new behaviour, but has not yet made the change.
- Action: this is when that person has begun their new behaviour. This stage continues until this new behaviour is no longer a conscious thought and is now part of their everyday lifestyle.
- Maintenance: this is when the new behaviour has been implemented into the individuals life and becomes a habit.
- Relapse: this is when the individual has returned to their previous state and has dropped out of the new behaviour.
This model was developed by psychologist Hochbaum et al. (1950) and it states that the likelihood of an individual engaging in exercise to maintain good health is dependent on how high that individual has placed the value of preventing illness and disease. That individual will also consider the costs and the benefits of taking up exercise or any other behaviour they are taking up. This also fits into the decision balance sheet which most people will consider unconsciously when they are at potential risk when taking up a new behaviour.
This theory was developed by Azjen (1985) and it states that an individuals intentions are the best predictor of whether or not that person takes up the intended behaviour. The intentions are based upon the individuals attitude towards the behaviour they are considering, for example, if someone has a positive attitude to exercise and believes it is important, they are likely to exercise on a regular basis.

However, an individuals intentions do not always result in them taking up the behaviour because of the individuals perception of their own ability to perform the behaviour. This is known as perceived behavioural control, and can be the reason why someone with the right intentions, don't end up taking action.
An example could be someone who wants to join a local football club, but thinks that they will not be as good as the people who are already their, so they back out at the last minute.
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