An Examination of the Relationship Between Motivation, Physical Activity, and Wearable Activity Monitor Use

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Teachers College, Columbia University
  • | 2 Columbia University Medical Center
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Wearable physical activity (PA) monitors are widely promoted as a means to motivate people to be more active, but the motivational profile of users has never been assessed. This study’s purpose was to classify adult users by their motivational regulation scores and examine how these profiles were associated with moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). Current users (N = 320) recruited across the United States completed a Web-based survey. Motivational regulations were measured using the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire, and associations with MVPA were explored using bivariate correlations. MVPA was more highly correlated with autonomous rather than controlling regulations. A cluster analysis was conducted using the respondents’ motivational regulation scores. Five motivational profiles emerged from this analysis, and they differed significantly across motivation and MVPA scores. PA monitor users characterized by more autonomous motives presented with higher MVPA. As technology use increases, assessing the multidimensionality of PA monitor users’ motivation may add value when researching PA behaviors.

The authors are with Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Friel is also with the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Friel ( is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Table 1 (PDF 7 KB)
    • Supplementary Materials (PDF 791 KB)