Too Bored for Sports? Adaptive and non-adaptive latent personality profiles for exercise behavior
Physical exercise is an effective tool for improving public health, but the general population exercises too little. Drawing on recent theorizing on the combined role of boredom and self-control in guiding goal-directed behavior, we test the hypothesis that individual differences in boredom and self-control differentiate high from low exercisers. The role of boredom as a non-adaptive disposition is of particular interest, because research on boredom in sports is scarce. Here, we investigate the
... we investigate the role of such individual differences in self-reported weekly exercise behavior (in minutes) in a sample of N = 507 participants (n = 200 female, Mage = 36.43 (± 9.54)). We used the robust variant of Mahalanobis distance to detect and remove n = 51 multivariate outliers and then performed latent profile analysis to assess if boredom (boredom proneness; exercise-related boredom) and self-control (trait self-control; if-then planning) combine into identifiable latent profiles. In line with theoretical considerations, the Bayesian Information Criterion favored a solution with two latent profiles. One profile was characterized by higher-than-average exercise-related boredom and boredom proneness and lower-than-average self-control and if-then planning values. This pattern was reversed for the second profile. A one-sided Bayesian two-sample t-test supported the hypothesis that the first profile is associated with more exercise behavior than the second profile, BF =16.93. Our results foster the notion of self-control and if-then planning as adaptive dispositions. More importantly, they point to an important role of boredom in the exercise setting: exercise-related boredom and getting easily bored in general are associated with less exercise activity. This is in line with recent theorizing on boredoms' and self-controls' function in guiding goal-directed behavior.