Is the affective response to exercise related to motivations and future physical activity behaviour in schizophrenia


Physical activity (PA) provides numerous health benefits, which may help manage physical comorbidity among people with schizophrenia. However, cognitive impairments are additional concerns for persons with schizophrenia that may reduce the usefulness of cognitive determinants commonly used in behaviour change models to predict and modify PA behaviour. In order to better understand non-cognitive (i.e. hedonic) motivations to engage in PA in this population, it is relevant to examine whether affective responses to PA are a determinant of PA behaviour. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether change in pleasure, as measured by the Feeling Scale at the midpoint of a 10-minute bout of moderate intensity treadmill exercise, is related to task self-efficacy, affective outcome expectancies, and intentions to engage in PA measured 1 week prior to the exercise session as well as PA measured by accelerometry 2 weeks after the exercise session. Twenty-eight participants completed the study. Differences in self-reported pleasure from baseline to the midpoint in the 10-minute exercise session were correlated with task self-efficacy, affective attitudes and intentions, as well as average daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Pleasure during exercise correlated significantly with task self-efficacy (r=.40, p=.035) and intentions (r=.38, p=.045), but not with affective outcome expectancies (r=.05, p=.80) nor MVPA (r=.32, p=.11). Overall, findings support the hypothesis that the affective response to exercise relates to key motivational constructs and future physical activity. Interventions to manipulate affect during exercise require development and evaluation.

Acknowledgments: This study was supported by a CIHR Operating Grant and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship