Predicting exercise behaviors and intentions of Taiwanese urban high school students using the theory of planned behavior


      • The Theory of Planned Behavior have predicted adolescents' exercise intentions and behaviors.
      • Factors affecting adolescents' exercise intentions include attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavior control.
      • The Theory of Planned Behavior significantly have predicted Taiwanese adolescents' exercise intentions and behaviors regardless of gender.



      This study applied the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict exercise behaviors and intentions of teenagers and analyzed sex differences.

      Design and methods

      A prospective study design was employed to survey tenth-grade students in Taipei, Taiwan. The 951 participants reported their exercise attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control (PBC), and intentions, and their exercise behaviors were tracked 6 months later.


      Results revealed that 22.1% of all students and more male students than female students exercised for ≥30 min/day on 5 or more days/week. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that intentions, PBC, attitudes, and subjective norms explained 32.5% of the variation in exercise behavior (p < .001). Intentions, attitudes, and PBC were related to exercise behavior regardless of sex. Attitudes, subjective norms, and PBC explained 67.0% of the variation in intentions (p < .001). Attitudes and PBC were related to intentions regardless of sex.


      The findings support that the main constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior can effectively predict regular exercise intentions and behaviors among adolescents.

      Practice implications

      The results can serve as a reference for nurses and other healthcare professionals when formulating effective strategies to encourage adolescents to engage in exercise practices.


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