OBJECTIVES: The Transtheoretical Model of behavior change (TTM) postulates that behavior change is a process involving progress through five distinct stages of change (SOC). One of the key components for progress to a later stage is decisional balance (pros and cons of changing to the target behavior). The goal of the present study is to test the two dimensions of decisional balance as postulated in the TTM in the context of exercising behavior.
METHODS: The analyses are based on data from an online survey of 266 freshman students at the University of Zurich; participants self-reported their frequency of exercising and their weighing of the importance of 49 pros and cons of exercising.
RESULTS: The results indicate that a two-dimensional solution of decisional balance is insufficient. The analysis of pros and cons of exercising yielded a seven-factor solution with in part different progressions through the SOC.
CONCLUSIONS: With the subdivision into different pros and cons, intervention programs can be developed that better match the needs of participants in terms of fostering and decreasing the most important pros and cons of exercising.