Dr. Emily Simonavice
Purpose: Learning what motivates people to exercise may be the key to health professionals helping their clients become more active and moving our society in a positive direction in terms of health. Motivation can be divided into two broad categories; intrinsic and extrinsic. Our study sought to examine which type of motivation positively affects college-aged students’ one-mile times. It was hypothesized that college-aged individuals would run one mile in a shorter amount of time if they were motivated extrinsically than if they were motivated intrinsically.
Methods: Eighteen college-aged individuals participated in the study and were randomly split into two groups: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. On day one all participants performed a baseline, one-mile run timed trial with no motivation administered. On day two subjects were asked to repeat the one-mile time trial; however, this trial included a motivation condition (extrinsic or intrinsic) based on which of the two groups the participants were randomly assigned.
Results: An independent t-test revealed no significant differences in final one- mile run time between the extrinsic group (7.5 ± 1.4 min) and the intrinsic group (7.7 ± 1.5 min). Survey results revealed that trophies, recognition, self- satisfaction, and health ranked the lowest of motivating factors while money and fitness ranked the highest.
Conclusion: Although there was no statistical significance supporting one type of motivation over the other; the survey results suggests that college students are not intrinsically motivated to exercise, and only certain extrinsic rewards such as fitness and money were reported to be “motivating” to exercise.
Little, Elizabeth; Neidert, Nicole; Rogers, Jordan; Matysiak, Logan; and Osburn, Joshua
"Exercise Motivation in College Students,"
The Corinthian: Vol. 18, Article 8.
Available at: https://kb.gcsu.edu/thecorinthian/vol18/iss1/8