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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

versão impressa ISSN 1517-8692


CARNEIRO, Luís  e  GOMES, António Rui. Personal, athletic and psychological factors in exercise behavior. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2015, vol.21, n.2, pp.127-132. ISSN 1517-8692.


the benefits of exercise are well known; however more than 60% of the world population is physically inactive or insufficiently active to achieve such benefits. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors involved in exercise in order to promote participation and avoid discontinuation.


to analyze the differences in a set of psychological variables according the tendency to do exercise and the predictors of actual exercise behavior.


this study involved 454 practitioners of bodybuilding, cardio-fitness and rhythm activities of a sport center in the north of Portugal. Three sets of variables were evaluated: a personal sex, age, and body mass index; b athletic previous practice time and weekly frequency of previous practice; and c psychological attitudes toward exercise, subjective norms toward exercise, perceived behavioral control, exercise purpose, pros and cons of exercise, and exercise planning.


those who practice exercise more regularly had higher levels of perceived behavioral control, intention to practice, and exercise planning compared with practitioners with little or no exercise regular activity. Age, previous practice time, weekly frequency of previous practice, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control were significant predictors of the actual exercise behavior.


this study confirmed that more regular practitioners showed a more favorable psychological pattern regarding the possibility of assuming stable exercise behavior. Moreover, the results demonstrated the multifaceted nature of the factors involved in exercise behavior.

Palavras-chave : exercise; fitness centers; health behavior; motivation.

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