CitationSutin, Angelina R.; Stephan, Yannick; & Terracciano, Antonio (2016). Evaluating the bidirectional relation between personality and physical activity with public databases. Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA.
AbstractPhysical activity and personality traits both promote better health across the lifespan. Cross-sectional studies point to a consistent relation between the two but do not speak to their temporal dynamics. Using data from the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS; N=3,758) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; N=10,227), we examined the reciprocal relation between personality and physical activity. Over 4-10 years follow-up, physically active adults increased in extraversion, openness and conscientiousness, and these traits predicted maintaining a physically active lifestyle. This pattern replicated using an objective performance measure on a subset of HRS participants (N=5,210) and was partially replicated using panel studies in Europe (N=13,301) and Australia (N=8,629). Large, longitudinal datasets that are publicly available offer the opportunity to efficiently address the temporal dynamics between personality and health-promoting behaviors, determine whether such associations are replicable, and evaluate their generalizability to other cultural contexts.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book TitleAnnual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Series TitleSocial/personality psychology and public health: Promise and practical application
Author(s)Sutin, Angelina R.