The role of social capital and community belongingness for exercise adherence: An exploratory study of the CrossFit gym model

J Health Psychol. 2018 Oct;23(12):1545-1556. doi: 10.1177/1359105316664132. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


This is the first study to measure the 'sense of community' reportedly offered by the CrossFit gym model. A cross-sectional study adapted Social Capital and General Belongingness scales to compare perceptions of a CrossFit gym and a traditional gym. CrossFit gym members reported significantly higher levels of social capital (both bridging and bonding) and community belongingness compared with traditional gym members. However, regression analysis showed neither social capital, community belongingness, nor gym type was an independent predictor of gym attendance. Exercise and health professionals may benefit from evaluating further the 'sense of community' offered by gym-based exercise programmes.

Keywords: community health psychology; exercise behaviour; physical activity; social capital; social support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Social Capital*
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult