Predicting objectively assessed physical activity from the content and regulation of exercise goals: Evidence for a mediational model

Centre for Exercise, Nutrition & Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K.
Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.59). 04/2011; 33(2):175-97.
Source: PubMed


Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), the purpose of this work was to examine effects of the content and motivation of adults' exercise goals on objectively assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). After reporting the content and motivation of their exercise goals, 101 adult participants (Mage = 38.79 years; SD = 11.5) wore an ActiGraph (GT1M) accelerometer for seven days. Accelerometer data were analyzed to provide estimates of engagement in MVPA and bouts of physical activity. Goal content did not directly predict behavioral engagement; however, mediation analysis revealed that goal content predicted behavior via autonomous exercise motivation. Specifically, intrinsic versus extrinsic goals for exercise had a positive indirect effect on average daily MVPA, average daily MVPA accumulated in 10-min bouts and the number of days on which participants performed 30 or more minutes of MVPA through autonomous motivation. These results support a motivational sequence in which intrinsic versus extrinsic exercise goals influence physical activity behavior because such goals are associated with more autonomous forms of exercise motivation.

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    • "For example, the intrinsic goal of developing skill or the extrinsic goal of enhancing the way you look have a longer time scale component (i.e. it takes time to develop the skill or to improve appearance), compared to the present oriented behavioral regulations (i.e. because the activity is fun). Therefore, the why of PA (i.e. the goals) is more distally related to PA behavior but this relation is transmitted through the more proximal variable of behavioral regulations (Sebire et al, 2011). "
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    • " demonstrating no direct effect be - tween relative intrinsic goals and physical activity in the presence of motivation ; however , changes in relative intrinsic goals posi - tively predicted physical activity behavior through the specific in - direct effect of autonomous motivation through competence satisfaction . Contrary to previous findings ( Sebire et al . , 2011 ) autonomous motivation alone did not mediate the link between relative intrinsic goal content and physical activity behavior . This finding could indicate that when psychological need satisfaction was in the model in the presence of motivation and goals , auton - omous motivation is only significant when it is associated with competenc"
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