Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

Research News

Future proofing for healthy decisions

Liam O’Donnell is a La Trobe university student doing an Honours project with Dr Carina Chan in the La Trobe University Department of Psychology and Counselling. He is investigating the relationship between ‘delay discounting’ and exercise – looking at how we think about healthy habits in the present when the benefits are in the future.

We don’t eat all our vegetables

‘Delay discounting’ can cause us to put off the task of establishing healthy habits that are not much fun now but will help us in the long term. As Liam puts it:

We are aware of things we need to do for our health but we don’t do them all the time. We don’t get around to doing that exercise, or we don’t eat all our vegetables!

Liam wants to look at this relationship between personality, physical activity and how we think about the future, to see if there are ways to help people build behavioural change into their lives in a way that suits them. As Carina says:

If we can find a relationship between personality, exercise and delay discounting we can help people change the way they process information and make better decisions about their health.

This research fits within the Holsworth Research Initiative aim of:

  • addressing the global challenges of inactivity and chronic disease