Women’s Motives to Exercise

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2 University of Wolverhampton, UK
  • 3 University of Wolverhampton, UK
  • 4 University of Wales College, Newport, UK
  • 5 University College Worcester, UK
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Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985) as an overarching theoretical framework, the main purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between women’s motives to exercise and their reported exercise behavior. Three hundred and thirty women (Age range = 20-61+) took part in the study. Participants were categorized into a ‘’no-exercise’ group, a ‘some exercise’ group (less than 2.5 hours of exercise per week) or a ‘recommended amount of exercise’ group (minimum 2.5 hours of exercise per week). Controlling for the influence of age, MANCOVA analyses showed that the exercise groups differed significantly on most self-determined and controlling exercise motives. The results partly support propositions of SDT, and suggest that women may internalize, exercise behavior as they become more physically active, however controlling motives are still pertinent. Exercise leaders and promotion specialists should look into ways of facilitating the internalization process in female exercise participants.

Dr C. Thøgersen-Ntoumani, University of Birmingham, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom. Email: C.Thogersen@bham.ac.uk