Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 208–218 | Cite as

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

  • Paul Gellert
  • Jochen P. Ziegelmann
  • Sonia Lippke
  • Ralf Schwarzer
Original Article



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 



This work has been supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the project Fostering Lifelong Autonomy and Resources in Europe: Behaviour and Successful Aging—FLARE-BSA (project ID 01ET0801). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors of the above article has declared any actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this article.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Gellert
    • 1
  • Jochen P. Ziegelmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sonia Lippke
    • 3
  • Ralf Schwarzer
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Health PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.German Centre of GerontologyManfred-von-Richthofen-Strasse 2BerlinGermany
  3. 3.Jacobs University BremenBremenGermany
  4. 4.Warsaw School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWroclawPoland

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