• Strong body, clear mind: Physical activity diminishes the effects of supervisor interpersonal injustice

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Abstract

We integrate exercise physiology tenets with self‐regulation theory to explain how physical activity diminishes the effects of supervisor interpersonal injustice. We posit that individuals can help prevent self‐regulation depletion from interpersonal injustice when they engage in physical activity. In Study 1, we manipulated physical activity and interpersonal injustice in a laboratory setting, and in Study 2, utilizing a two‐week experience sampling method we examined how employees reacted differently to daily interpersonal injustice as a function of their general level of physical activity engagement. Our results demonstrate that both acute and chronic levels of physical activity attenuate the effects of supervisor interpersonal injustice episodes on self‐regulation depletion, which subsequently reduces social undermining directed toward the supervisor. Our findings highlight the theoretical and practical significance of physical activity for interpersonal injustice and for organizations in general.

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