Preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity: the mediating role of Vitality in Exercise Habit

João Faria *, Ana Andrade *, Anastasiia Evmenenko *, Diogo Monteiro **/***, Filipe Rodrigues **/****, Paulo Marques *, Luís Cid ***/***** and Diogo Santos Teixeira */******

(*) Faculty of Physical Education and Sport (ULHT), Lusófona University of Humanities and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal
(**) ESECS - Polytechnique of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
(***) Research Center on Sport, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal
(****) Quality of Life Research Center (CIEQV), Santarém, Portugal
(*****) Superior School of Sport of Rio Maior (ESDRM) - Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Portugal
(******) Research Center in Sport, Physical Education, and Exercise and Health (CIDEFES), Lisbon, Portugal


Faria, J., Andrade, A., Evmenenko, A., Monteiro, D., Rodrigues, F., Marques, P., Cid, L., Santos Teixeira, D. (2021). Preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity: the mediating role of Vitality in Exercise Habit. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 52(6), 555-568. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2021.52.555


The aim of the current exploratory study was to test the mediation role of subjective vitality in the relation between the intensity-traits and exercise habit, thus helping to understand the role of preference and tolerance in well-being and behavioral outcomes. The sample comprised 299 gym exercisers (39% men) with an average age of 36.4 years (SD = 10.61). In general, the present sample of exercisers manifested a preference and tolerance for moderate intensity exercises/activities. The intensity traits were positively associated with subjective vitality and exercise habit, and vitality partially mediated both models. Globally, the intensity-traits presented small to moderate effects in the tested variables. Both preference and tolerance presented positive associations with vitality and habit in the present study and results depict some preliminary evidence that the intensity-traits related to exercise may be relevant for health club professionals adjust their intervention aiming to promote a better subjective experience and exercise adherence.

Keywords: Habit; Preference; Tolerance; Intensity; Vitality