Variety support and exercise adherence behavior: Experimental and mediating effects

Benjamin D Sylvester, Martyn Standage, Desmond McEwan, S Wolf, David R Lubans, N Eather, M Kaulius, G.R Ruissen, Peter R Crocker, Bruno D Zumbo, Mark R Beauchamp

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The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the provision of variety (i.e., variety support) is related to exercise behavior among physically inactive adults and the extent to which the ‘experience of variety’ mediates those effects. One hundred and twenty one inactive university students were randomly assigned to follow a high or low variety support exercise program for 6 weeks. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 3- and 6-weeks. Participants in the high variety support condition displayed higher levels of adherence to the exercise program than those in the low variety support condition [F(1, 116) = 5.55, p = .02, η p 2 = .05] and the relationship between variety support and adherence was mediated by perceived variety (β = .16, p < .01). Exercise-related variety support holds potential to be an efficacious method for facilitating greater exercise adherence behaviors of previously inactive people by fostering perceptions of variety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date6 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • variety
  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • intervention
  • experiment
  • mediation
  • Behaviour
  • Exercise behaviour change
  • behaviour change


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