Time Preferences and Physical Activity

Insights from Behavioral Economics

Posted by Mark C. Pachucki on Mon, Jan 2, 2017

Abstract: OBJECTIVE. To examine the relationship between time preferences and physical activity among adults. METHODS. Cross-sectional study of 7,071 US adults. Time preferences were elicited based on a hypothetical dollar amount today or a larger sum in 30 days (30d), and a dollar amount 30 days from now or a larger sum in 60 days (60d). Physical activity was self-reported. RESULTS. In multivariable analysis, high future time preferences were 1.2 times more likely to meet guidelines than those who were not future oriented (30d: OR=1.24, 95%CI 1.02-1.52; 60d: OR= 1.23, 95%CI=1.06-1.44). CONCLUSIONS. Study findings demonstrate a positive relationship between future time preferences and physical activity. Future research should aim to assess this relationship using prospective designs.

Citation: Shuval, K., Drope, J., Stoklosa, M., Yaroch, A.L., Pachucki, M.C. and Harding, M., 2017. Time preferences and physical activity: insights from behavioral economics. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 4(1), pp.53-59.