Elucidating satisfaction with physical activity: An examination of the day-to-day associations between experiences with physical activity and satisfaction during physical activity initiation

Austin S. Baldwin, Scott A. Baldwin, Valerie G. Loehr, Julie L. Kangas, Georita M. Frierson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Satisfaction with physical activity is known to be an important factor in physical activity maintenance, but the factors that influence satisfaction are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to elucidate how ongoing experiences with recently initiated physical activity are associated with satisfaction. Participants (n = 116) included insufficiently active volunteers who initiated a self-directed physical activity regimen and completed daily diaries about their experiences for 28 days. We used multilevel models to examine the associations between experiences with physical activity and satisfaction. Significant between-person effects demonstrated that people reporting higher average levels of positive experiences and lower levels of thinking about the negative aspects of exercise were more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction (ps <.05). Positive experiences and perceived progress toward goals had significant within-person effects (ps <.01), suggesting that day-to-day fluctuations in these experiences were associated with changes in satisfaction. These findings elucidate a process through which people may determine their satisfaction with physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1424-1441
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2013



  • health behaviour change
  • physical activity experiences
  • physical activity initiation
  • satisfaction
  • within-person changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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