Influence and interpretation of intrinsic and extrinsic exercise motives
This study explores the relationships between, and perceptions of, various exercise motivations and exercise adherence. The application of self-determination theory to exercise motivations research has demonstrated the importance of intrinsic motivations, however, the influence of extrinsic motivations has not been thoroughly examined. This study placed exercise motive perceptions along the Organismic Integration Theory’s (OIT) spectrum of motivations, and identified associations between those interpretations and exercise adherence. Participants (812 college students) completed an online survey detailing their exercise motivations and participation. The Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 (EMI-2) was used to measure exercise motivations, and participants provided open-ended explanations for their ratings of each motivational sub-construct. Total exercise scores were calculated by assigning MET values to exercise bouts using the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire. Multiple regression analyses revealed stress management, enjoyment, competition, and weight management as predictors of exercise, and appearance as a negative predictor for females. Analysis of the open-ended motive explanations found participants held diverse perspectives on the health, appearance, weight management, and fitness motivations. The varying interpretations of health and appearance motives ranged across the OIT. Based on motivation theory, they may be conducive to the process of internalization, meaning they may develop into more intrinsic motivations as participants achieve goals and develop a sense of value for the exercise activities. Additional patterns were identified that require further research, including a gap between genders with respect to exercise enjoyment, and the difference between weight management and appearance as predictors of exercise adherence.
American College Health Association. (2012). College Health Association – National college health assessment II: Reference group executive summary fall 2011. Hanover, MD: American College Health Association.
Borg, G.A. (1982). Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sport Exer, 14(5), 377-381.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). State indicator report on physical activity. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Connell, J.P., & Wellborn, J.G. (1990). Competence, autonomy and relatedness: A motivational analysis of self-system processes. In M.R. Gunnar & L.A. Sroufe (Eds.), The Minnesota symposium on child psychology, Vol. 22, (pp. 43-77). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and self-setermination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemp Educ Psychol, 25(1), 54-67.
Duncan, L. R., Hall, C. R., Wilson, P. M., & Jenny, O. (2010). Exercise motivation: A cross-sectional analysis examining its relationships with frequency, intensity and duration of exercise. Int J Behav Nutr Phy, 7(7). http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/7/1/7
Ednie, A.E., & Stibor, M. (2016). A comparison of fitness ratings to exercise patterns and motivations among college students. J Kinesiol Wellness, 4(1). http://www.wskw.org/sites/wskw.org/files/fitness_motivations_ednie.pdf
Elliott, R., & Timulak, L. (2005). Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research. In J. Miles & P. Gilbert (Eds.), A Handbook of research methods for clinical and health psychology (pp. 147-159). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Garber, C.E., Blissmer, B., Deschenes, M.R., Franklin, B.A., Lamonte, M.J., Lee, I., Nieman, D.C., & Swain, D.P. (2011). Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: Guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sport Exer, 43(7), 1334-1359.
Godin, G., & Shepherd, R. (1985). A simple method to assess exercise behavior in the community. Can J Appl Sport Sci, 10(3), 141-146.
Haase, A., Steptoe, A., & Sallis, J.F. (2004). Leisure-time physical activity in university students from 23 countries: associations with health beliefs, risk awareness, and national economic development. Prev Med, 39(1), 182-190.
Huang, C., Lee, L., & Chang, M. (2007). The influence of personality and motivation on exercise participation and quality of life. Soc Behav Personal, 35(9), 1189-1210.
Ingledew, D. K., & Markland, D. (2008). The role of motives in exercise participation. Psychol Health, 23(7), 807-828.
Jacobs, D.R., Ainsworth, B.E., Hartman, T.J. & Leon, A.S. (1993). A simultaneous evaluation of 10 commonly used physical activity questionnaires. Med Sci Sport Exer, 25(1), 81-91.
Kilpatrick, M. & Hebert, E., & Bartholomew, J. (2005). College students’ motivation for physical activity: Differentiating men’s and women’s motives for sport participation and exercise. J Am Coll Health, 54(2), 87-94.
Kulavic, K., Hultquist, C.N., & McLester, J.R. (2013). A comparison of motivational factors and barriers to physical activity among traditional versus nontraditional college students. J Am Coll Health, 61(2), 60-66.
Maltby, J. & Day, L. (2001). The relationship between exercise motives and psychological well-being. J Psychol, 135(6), 651-660.
Markland, D., & Ingledew, D.K. (1997). The measurement of exercise motives: Factoral validity and invariance across gender in a revised exercise motivations inventory. Brit J Health Psych, 2(4), 361-376.
Markland, D., & Tobin, V. J. (2010). Need support and behavioural regulations for exercise among exercise referral scheme clients: The mediating role of psychological need satisfaction. Psychol Sport Exerc, 11(2), 91-99.
McDonough, M. H., & Crocker, P. R. E. (2007). Testing self-determined motivation as a mediator of the relationship between psychological needs and affective and behavioral outcomes. J Sport Exercise Psy, 29(5), 645-663.
Miserandino, M. (1996). Children who do well in school: Individual differences in perceived competence and autonomy in above-average children. J Educ Psychol, 88(2), 203-214.
Plotnikoff, R.C., Costigan, S.A., Williams, R.L., Hutchesson, M.J., Kennedy, S.G., Robards, S.L., Allen, J., Collins, C.E., Callister, R., & Germov, J. (2015). Effectiveness of interventions targeting physical activity, nutrition and healthy weight for university and college students: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phy, 12: 10p.
Ryan, R.M. (1995). Psychological needs and the facilitation of integrative processes. J Pers, 63(3), 397-427.
Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2002). Overview of self-determination theory: An organismic dialectical perspective. In R.M. Ryan & E.L. Deci (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, N.Y.: The University of Rochester Press.
Ryan, R.M., Kuhl, J., & Deci, E.L. (1997). Nature and autonomy: Organizational view of social and neurobiological aspects of self-regulation in behavior and development. Dev Psychopathol, 9(4), 701-728.
Scherr, J., Wolfarth, B., Christly, J.W., Pressler, A., Wagenpfeil, S., & Halle, M. (2013). Associations between Borg’s rating of perceived exertion and physiological measure of exercise intensity. Eur J Appl Physiol, 113(1), 147-155.
Teixeira, P.J., Carraca, E.V., Markland, D., Silva, M.N., & Ryan, R.M. (2012). Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phy, 9(1), 78-108.
Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., & Ntoumanis, N. (2006). The role of self-determined motivation in the understanding of exercise behaviours, cognitions and physical self-evaluations. J Sport Sci, 24(4), 393-404.
Weinstock, J. (2010). A review of exercise as intervention for sedentary hazardous drinking college students: rationale and issues. J Am Coll Health, 58(6): 539-544.
World Health Organization. (2016). Physical Activity Fact Sheet. Retrieved November 27, 2016 from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs385/en/.
Wilson, P.M., Rodgers, W.M., Fraser, S.N., & Murray, T.C. (2004). Relationships between exercise regulations and motivational consequences in university students. Res Q Exercise Sport, 75(1), 81-91.