'Directed thinking' increases time spent exercising

Jun 24, 2008

"Directed Thinking" involves asking people to think about information related to a topic that they already know which directs them to action. A study in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research shows how "directed thinking" led to an increase in exercise performance and fitness in sedentary college students.

Laura L. Ten Eyck, PhD, Dana P. Gresky, PhD, and Charles G. Lord, PhD, studied 61 college students who did not exercise on a regular basis or exercised inconsistently. Researchers asked students to think about ideas that fell into either the "reasons" category or the "actions" category. For example, some participants were asked to list the reasons why they should increase the performance of a target cardiovascular exercise they had previously selected, such as to be healthier or lose weight. Other participants were asked to list actions they could take to increase exercise performance, such a joining a gym or working out with a friend.

Having the students for eight weeks bring to mind and list actions they could take to increase exercise performance led to an increase in exercise and improved cardiovascular fitness. However, having students repeatedly bring to mind the reasons why they should do the target exercise did not increase time spent exercising.

"Our results suggest that people who are out of shape and at risk for serious health problems may be able to think their own way out of their unhealthy lifestyle and onto the path towards better physical fitness," the authors conclude. "It could change the way that people think about motivating themselves and others."


Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Explore further: Inadequate mental health care for blacks with depression and diabetes, high blood pressure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

3 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

5 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

6 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

6 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Recommended for you

What sign language teaches us about the brain

Jul 25, 2014

The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing ...

Why do men prefer nice women?

Jul 25, 2014

People's emotional reactions and desires in initial romantic encounters determine the fate of a potential relationship. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second ...

Study reveals how to be socially successful

Jul 25, 2014

Romantic, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

User comments : 0