But it turns out there’s a reasonable explanation why some like exercise more than others – and, contrary to popular belief, it has ZERO to do with being lazy.
Researchers at the University of Oregon have found a link between people who like to plan things and increased physical activity. They analysed the gym attendance of 282 uni students over a five-month period and identified a specific personality trait (called ‘planfulness’) among many of the participants. To measure this, they put together a Planfulness Scale for the participants to report how much they agreed with certain statements, such as “Developing a clear plan when I have a goal is important to me.”
Interestingly, those who rated themselves highly on this scale clocked significantly more time working out during the experiment than those who didn't identify as "planners." This proves that by setting aside time in the diary to hit up that Pump class, you’re way more likely to stick to it.
And sure, while the whole concept of developing a plan to better achieve your goals isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it is intriguing that it works so well for healthy habits in particular.
"This work is broadly informative for those who are curious about how people pursue health goals, including their own patterns of thought around goals," the study’s lead author Rita M. Ludwig said in a news release.
"Clinicians might find it helpful in understanding how their patients tend to think about goals and whether person-to-person differences in such thinking are related to outcomes."