Online Program

Affective response to physical activity differs across contexts: An ecological momentary assessment study

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, PhD, MPH, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Adam Leventhal, Ph.D., Institute of Prevention Research, USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Yue Liao, MPH, CPH, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Stephen Intille, PhD, Department of Health Science, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Background: Positive affective (i.e., emotional) response to physical activity is considered a key reinforcement process underlying motivation to engage future activity. However, affective response to physical activity is typically examined under controlled laboratory conditions. To understand how affective responses to physical activity may differ across naturalistic settings, this study used Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA): Methods: Participants included 117 adults (M = 40.3 years, 73% female) who completed 32 EMA surveys by mobile phone at random times across four days. Each EMA survey asked respondents to report their current activity type (e.g., watching TV, physical activity/exercise), social context (e.g., alone, with spouse, with friends), and perceptions of their current setting (e.g., greenness, safety, traffic, shade, litter). Participants also rated their current mood and enjoyment. Analyses only included observations where physical activity/exercise was reported as the current activity (n=218). All models controlled for age and gender. Results: Enjoyment of physical activity was significantly greater when it occurred with a spouse, child, or other person present as compared with being alone (F = 3.10, p = .023). In settings where participants perceived greater greenness (i.e., trees, plants), they reported significantly greater enjoyment (β= .476, p = .013) and positive mood (β= .489, p = .012) during physical activity. Conclusion: Contextual features of physical activity settings may enhance affective response. Motivation to engage in future physical activity may be reinforced by encouraging adults to be physically active in the company of other people and in outdoor settings with higher levels of greenness and vegetation.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how innovative mobile phone technologies can be used to examine affective response to physical activity in real-world settings.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Genevieve Dunton, Ph.D, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. The objectives of Dr. Dunton´s research are to understand the etiology of health behaviors related to chronic disease risk in children and adults, with particular focus on physical activity and nutrition. She has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters on these topics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.