Thanks to T for firstly drawing attention to Bloom blog. It's always interesting to hear how others describe what we're doing and how they interpret it. Thanks T.
He also points out that running isn't the be all and end all of exercising.
The key appears to be something that;s active but is easy to do. The absence of pain is a pretty understandable pre-requisite!
He also draws attention to the sheer practicality of cycling to and from work. But the most interesting feature to me was that he drew attention to a feeling of 'superiority' of getting to work in this way. I can really relate to this when running (ridiculously I pride myself on never getting overtaken and on the fact I run every day). The notion of identity and exercise is something I hope Bloom will focus on.
If we can get people to view themselves positively when exercising, as opposed to feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, or less able than others, then I think we'll make progress. Incidentally, I think gyms often reinforce these negative feelings, with their sheer lack of fun, perhaps especially for women?
The motivating power of identity is even more evident, given that neither T nor I mentioned goals, even though I know both of us are naturally motivated by goals.
So our hypothesis could be: if we can pesuade someone that a particular activity is congruent with their personal identity, we are more likely to persist from day to day with that activity. The more we persist, the more we reinforce our identity.