Variety support and exercise adherence behavior: experimental and mediating effects

J Behav Med. 2016 Apr;39(2):214-24. doi: 10.1007/s10865-015-9688-4. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the provision of variety (i.e., variety support) is related to exercise behavior among physically inactive adults and the extent to which the 'experience of variety' mediates those effects. One hundred and twenty one inactive university students were randomly assigned to follow a high or low variety support exercise program for 6 weeks. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 3- and 6-weeks. Participants in the high variety support condition displayed higher levels of adherence to the exercise program than those in the low variety support condition [F(1, 116) = 5.55, p = .02, η(p)(2) = .05] and the relationship between variety support and adherence was mediated by perceived variety (β = .16, p < .01). Exercise-related variety support holds potential to be an efficacious method for facilitating greater exercise adherence behaviors of previously inactive people by fostering perceptions of variety.

Keywords: Diverse; Mediation; Perceived variety; Physical activity; Resistance training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • British Columbia
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Resistance Training
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Young Adult