The Role of Mood and Stress for Physical Activity Intentions: Insights from Ecological Momentary Assessment

David Haag (Speaker), Jan Smeddinck, Jens Blechert

Research output: Poster presentation without proceedings


Intentions play a crucial role in physical activity (PA) engagement. However, various internal and external factors can facilitate or impede the formation of intentions. Momentary affect is one of those internal factors but is often overlooked by the mostly between-person-based health behavior models due to its fluctuating nature. In this study, we use Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to examine the relationship between internal states like mood and stress with PA intentions on a within-person, intra-day level. Our focus is to further understand how those internal states may impact the formation of PA intentions and ultimately influence behavior.

Each day, for three weeks, 41 healthy participants (aged 19-67) completed four EMA prompts on momentary affect and stress, as well as upcoming barriers (PA incompatible external circumstances) and PA intentions. We used generalized logistic mixed-effect modeling to test within-person antecedents of PA intentions.

Perceived external barriers impeded the formation of PA intentions. Happy and active moods were positively associated with PA intentions, while relaxed and tired moods showed a negative association. Surprisingly, stress was positively associated with PA intentions.

Our study is the first to provide evidence that, on the within-person level, stress might even facilitate the formation of PA intentions. This suggests a need for a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between stress and health behavior intentions. Further, we found that both momentary affect and stress play a decisive role in the formation of PA intentions and, thus, are underrepresented in current health behavior models.

Original languageAmerican English
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2023
EventConference of the Society for Ambulatory Assessment 2023 - Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20237 Jun 2023


ConferenceConference of the Society for Ambulatory Assessment 2023
Abbreviated titleSAA2023
OtherThe annual SAA conference is the ideal moment to gain and share knowledge on the assessment of behavioural, physiological and environmental aspects of daily life. The central theme of this edition is 'Stress in action'.
Internet address

Research Field

  • Exploration of Digital Health


  • Physical Activity
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Intention
  • Affect


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