Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 208–218

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 

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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