Use of attitude-behaviour models in exercise promotion

Sports Med. 1990 Aug;10(2):103-21. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199010020-00004.


Many studies have adopted a theoretical attitude-behaviour framework for the analysis of exercise behaviour. The most popular models include the Health Belief Model, the Protection Motivation Theory, the Social Cognitive Theory, the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour, and the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Aspects other than a preoccupation with health often have a strong influence upon an individual's decision whether or not to engage in exercise. Expectations of self-efficacy, attitudes towards exercising (the affective dimension), perceived barriers to exercise, and past behaviour exert strong influences upon behavioural intention, which in turn influences overt behaviour. In some instances, the variables explaining intention also exert a direct influence upon behaviour in parallel with their influence upon intention. Those promoting exercise behaviour should focus initial attention upon the habit of exercising rather than upon the development of traditional 'endurance fitness'.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*