Do increases in physical activity encourage positive beliefs about further change in the proactive cohort?

Wendy Hardeman, Susan Michie, Ann Louise Kinmonth, Stephen Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of behaviour change on cognitions are rarely examined within the Theory of Planned Behaviour. We tested whether increases in physical activity resulted in more positive beliefs about further change among a cohort of sedentary adults participating in a behavioural intervention trial(ProActive). At baseline, 6 and 12 months, 365 adults completed questionnaires assessing physical activity and cognitions about becoming more active over the coming year. Objective activity was assessed at baseline and 12 months. Participants reporting larger increases in activitywere no more positive about making further increases than those reportingless behaviour change (p-values>0.05). Participants with larger increases in objective activity reported weaker perceived control (β_0.342; p=0.001) and more negative instrumental attitudes (β_0.230; p=0.017) at 12 months. Participants may have felt that they had changed enough or measures of perceived success may be more sensitive to behaviour change. Alternatively, long measurement intervals may have missed immediate cognitive and affective consequences of behaviour change, or such effects may require participants to consistently selfmonitor or receive feedback on performance. Future studies could test the effect of such techniques on physical activity and a wider range of cognitive, affective and physiological consequences, using more frequent measurement intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-914
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number7
Early online date15 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Behaviour
  • Cognition
  • Psychological feedback
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Theory of planned behaviour

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