Promoting Exercise Adherence Through Groups

A Self-Categorization Theory Perspective

Mark R. Beauchamp


Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2019;47(1):54-61. 

In This Article


In conclusion, the social identities that form in groups seem to be influential in shaping people's attitudes toward and affiliation with others, and that these affiliations represent a social glue that retain its members' involvement in those groups. In the context of health-enhancing physical activity promotion, especially in exercise classes, some (observational and experimental) evidence points to the utility of shared social identities around salient characteristics as well as social identity leadership in promoting exercise adherence. However, further research is needed to understand the full range of variables around which people might develop salient social identities that can be used to promote health-enhancing physical activity, potential moderators of social identity effects, as well as the extent to which social identities within groups can support extensive/lifelong physical activity behavior.