Trait self-control, exercise and exercise ambition: Evidence from a healthy, adult population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study explores if self-control predicts exercise ambition and actual exercise, and if exercise ambition predicts actual exercise. Members and guests at a not-for-profit sports club were invited to participate. 264 individuals completed a self-reported (Self-Control Scale) measure of self-control, and responded to questions about actual exercise as well as exercise ambition prior to their workout. Main Outcome Measures are exercise ambition, actual exercise, and the difference between them. We find that trait self-control predicts both actual exercise and exercise ambition. Exercise ambition also predicts actual exercise. The results suggest a path from self-control, via exercise ambition, to actual exercise. Individuals with relatively low self-control might benefit from some aid in setting goals for their workouts and committing to exercise.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
  • Sport and Fitness Sciences


  • exercise, exercise ambition, exercise behaviour, physical activity, self-control
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology, Health & Medicine
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Aug 13
Publication categoryResearch