A Twin-Sibling Study on the Relationship Between Exercise Attitudes and Exercise Behavior

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Abstract

Social cognitive models of health behavior propose that individual differences in leisure time exercise behavior are influenced by the attitudes towards exercise. At the same time, large scale twin-family studies show a significant influence of genetic factors on regular exercise behavior. This twin-sibling study aimed to unite these findings by demonstrating that exercise attitudes can be heritable themselves. Secondly, the genetic and environmental cross-trait correlations and the monozygotic (MZ) twin intrapair differences model were used to test whether the association between exercise attitudes and exercise behavior can be causal. Survey data were obtained from 5,095 twins and siblings (18-50 years). A genetic contribution was found for exercise behavior (50 % in males, 43 % in females) and for the six exercise attitude components derived from principal component analysis: perceived benefits (21, 27 %), lack of skills, support and/or resources (45, 48 %), time constraints (25, 30 %), lack of energy (34, 44 %), lack of enjoyment (47, 44 %), and embarrassment (42, 49 %). These components were predictive of leisure time exercise behavior (RÂ = 28 %). Bivariate modeling further showed that all the genetic (0.36 < |r
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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