Self-affirmation promotes physical activity

Richard Cooke, Helena Trebaczyk, Peter Harris, Alison J. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study tests whether a self-affirmation intervention (i.e., requiring an individual to focus on a valued aspect of their self-concept, such as honesty) can increase physical activity and change theory of planned behavior (TPB) variables linked to physical activity. Eighty young people completed a longitudinal intervention study. Baseline physical activity was assessed using the Godin Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (LTPAQ). Next, participants were randomly allocated to either a self-affirmation or a nonaffirmation condition. Participants then read information about physical activity and health, and completed measures of TPB variables. One week later, participants again completed LTPAQ and TPB items. At follow up, self-affirmed participants reported significantly more physical activity, more positive attitudes toward physical activity, and higher intentions to be physically active compared with nonaffirmed participants. Neither attitudes nor intentions mediated the effects of self-affirmation on physical activity. Self-affirmation can increase levels of physical activity and TPB variables. Self-affirmation interventions have the potential to become relatively simple methods for increasing physical activity levels. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

© Human Kinetics. Version as accepted for publication


  • attitude
  • health behavior
  • intention
  • physical activity
  • self-affirmation


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-affirmation promotes physical activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this