J Prev Med Public Health.  2013 Jan;46(Suppl 1):S35-S42.

Commitment to Sport and Exercise: Re-examining the Literature for a Practical and Parsimonious Model

  • 1Sports Studies Department, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC, USA. lwilliam@guilford.edu


A commitment to physical activity is necessary for personal health, and is a primary goal of physical activity practitioners. Effective practitioners rely on theory and research as a guide to best practices. Thus, sound theory, which is both practical and parsimonious, is a key to effective practice. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature in search of such a theory - one that applies to and explains commitment to physical activity in the form of sport and exercise for youths and adults. The Sport Commitment Model has been commonly used to study commitment to sport and has more recently been applied to the exercise context. In this paper, research using the Sport Commitment Model is reviewed relative to its utility in both the sport and exercise contexts. Through this process, the relevance of the Investment Model for study of physical activity commitment emerged, and a more parsimonious framework for studying of commitment to physical activity is suggested. Lastly, links between the models of commitment and individuals' participation motives in physical activity are suggested and practical implications forwarded.


Motivation; Personal satisfaction; Behavior; Motor activity; Physical fitness; Health

MeSH Terms

Health Status
*Models, Theoretical
Personal Satisfaction
*Physical Fitness
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