On the Bike and in the Cubicle: The Role of Passion and Regulatory Focus in Cycling and Work Satisfaction

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Psychology of Sport and Exercise




Objectives To examine the relationships between cycling passion and satisfaction with cycling and work. First we examine the how two types of passion for cycling (harmonious and obsessive) differentially affect cycling satisfaction. Second, we examine how a passion for cycling can have a spillover effect on work satisfaction. Third, we examine the mediating role of regulatory focus on the relationship between passion and satisfaction. Design Cross-sectional study of U.S. competitive cyclists using an online survey. Methods Self-reports of study variables were collected from 119 competitive cyclists, who were also employed in work roles beyond their cycling pursuits. Structural equation modeling techniques were used to examine the relationships between passion, regulatory focus, and satisfaction. Results Results from our sample indicate that while holding a harmonious passion for cycling positively relates to both cycling and work satisfaction, an obsessive passion results in diminished work satisfaction. Moreover, results from our mediation analysis indicate that regulatory focus partially mediates the relationships between harmonious passion and both cycling and work satisfaction. Conclusions These findings illustrate that not all forms of passion are beneficial to one's pursuits, demonstrate the potential spillover effect of pursuing one's passion for sport and its influence on work satisfaction, and suggest that regulatory focus helps explain the relationship between passion and satisfaction.