Original Article

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 208-218

First online:

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

  • Paul GellertAffiliated withHealth Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin Email author 
  • , Jochen P. ZiegelmannAffiliated withHealth Psychology, Freie Universität BerlinGerman Centre of Gerontology, Manfred-von-Richthofen-Strasse 2
  • , Sonia LippkeAffiliated withJacobs University Bremen
  • , Ralf SchwarzerAffiliated withHealth Psychology, Freie Universität BerlinWarsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



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.


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).


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


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.


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


Future time perspective Planning Self-regulation Physical exercise Fruit and vegetable intake