, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 208-218
Date: 21 Oct 2011

Future Time Perspective and Health Behaviors: Temporal Framing of Self-Regulatory Processes in Physical Exercise and Dietary Behaviors

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Abstract

Background

Limitations in perceived lifetime can undermine long-term goal striving. Planning is supposed to translate intentions into health behaviors and to operate as a compensatory strategy to overcome goal striving deficits associated with a limited time perspective.

Purpose

Two longitudinal studies were conducted examining the compensatory role of planning: an online survey on fruit and vegetable consumption (N = 909; 16–78 years; follow-up at 4 months) and a questionnaire study on physical exercise in older adults (N = 289; 60–95 years, over a half-year period).

Methods

Intentions, planning, and behavior were measured in a behavior-specific, future time perspective in a generic manner.

Results

Planning mediated between intentions and both health behaviors. Time perspective operated as a moderator, indicating that in individuals with a more limited time perspective, a stronger effect of planning on health behaviors emerged.

Conclusions

Planning as a self-regulatory strategy may compensate for a limited time perspective.