Research on exercise adherence: A review of primary studies

Kazuhiro P. Izawa*, Koichiro Oka, Satoshi Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Physical activity and exercise are important to maintain both exercise capacity and the caloric expenditure associated with reduced mortality. Even though the health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are well documented, most individuals are inadequately active or completely inactive. It has been recommended that research on exercise adherence be conducted according to behavioral science models. One of the most effective is the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM). The TTM has been used to explain both the stages and processes individuals go through when trying to adopt a positive behavior (eg, habitual exercise). The TTM suggests that individuals attempting to change behavior move through five stages of change. The model incorporates stages of change, processes of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy. Many researchers have shown that self-efficacy is an important predictor of adoption and maintenance of exercise behavior. This article reviews the research literature that applies the TTM to investigations of exercise adherence. In addition, the influence of exercise adherence on exercise capacity, muscle strength, self-efficacy, stress, physical activity, and health-related quality of life in the general population and in patients is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept 29


  • Exercise adherence
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Physical activity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Self-efficacy
  • Transtheoretical model of behavior change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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