Health behavior and behavioral economics: economic preferences and physical activity stages of change in a low-income African-American community. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: To examine the relationship between physical activity stages of change and preferences for financial risk and time. DESIGN: A cross-sectional, community-based study. SETTING: A low-income, urban, African-American neighborhood. SUBJECTS: One hundred sixty-nine adults. MEASURES: Self-reported physical activity stages of change-precontemplation to maintenance, objectively measured body mass index and waist circumference, and economic preferences for time and risk measured via incentivized economic experiments. ANALYSIS: Multivariable ordered logistic regression models were used to examine the association between physical activity stages of change and economic preferences while controlling for demographic characteristics of the individuals. RESULTS: Individuals who are more tolerant of financial risks (odds ratio [OR] = 1.31, p < .05) and whose time preferences indicate more patience (OR = 1.68, p < .01) are more likely to be in a more advanced physical activity stage (e.g., from preparation to action). The likelihood of being in the maintenance stage increases by 5.6 and 10.9 percentage points for each one-unit increase in financial risk tolerance or one-unit increase in the time preference measure, respectively. CONCLUSION: Greater tolerance of financial risk and more patient time preferences among this low-income ethnic minority population are associated with a more advanced physical activity stage. Further exploration is clearly warranted in larger and more representative samples.

published proceedings

  • Am J Health Promot

altmetric score

  • 7.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Leonard, T., Shuval, K., de Oliveira, A., Skinner, C. S., Eckel, C., & Murdoch, J. C.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Leonard, Tammy||Shuval, Kerem||de Oliveira, Angela||Skinner, Celette Sugg||Eckel, Catherine||Murdoch, James C

publication date

  • March 2013