Can a mean P.E. teacher have lasting negative effects on a person's ability to exercise?

A new study has identified a new reason why some adults don't exercise. It's a familiar scenario in the movies - the P.E. teacher who relentlessly punishes and humiliates students to the point where what should be the favorite class becomes the most dreaded class of the day. In a movie or TV show the storyline can get big laughs. But in real life that mean junior high or high school gym teacher can stay with you long after you graduate, according to University of Alberta Professor Billy Strean. Professor Strean interviewed dozens of adults about their fitness habits. He asked them about their attitudes toward exercise and what influenced their workout routines. Childhood experiences were the focus. Fitness trainers aren't surprised by the findings. Personal trainer Amy Freeman says, "I hear from clients all the time that they've had a bad experience with a personal trainer, a P.E. teacher or someone else and they bring that experience here with them and we have to help them feel successful so they can change their idea of fitness."

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Can a mean P.E. teacher have lasting negative effects on a person's ability to exercise?