Drawing on Salmon's (2001) unifying theory of the beneficial effects of physical exercise, we examined physical activity behaviors as an important, but understudied, buffer against experiences of emotional exhaustion, absenteeism, and turnover intentions in 189 childcare teachers. Structural equation modeling revealed that workplace and leisure-time physical activity were negatively related to emotional exhaustion, which in turn, was positively related to teacher migration and attrition intentions. Post-hoc analyses revealed indirect (mediated) effects between physical activity behaviors and teacher turnover intentions via emotional exhaustion. This theoretically driven model fit the data better than an alternative model whereby emotional exhaustion predicts physical activity behaviors.
- care giving
- teacher burnout