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Adults’ Motivation for Physical Activity: Differentiating Motives for Exercise, Sport, and Recreation

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Physical inactivity continues to be a significant problem that adversely impacts adult health. An important construct to consider in researching adult physical activity adherence is motivation. Factors motivating participation in two types of physical activity, exercise and sport, have been compared; however, factors motivating participation in another type of physical activity, recreation, have often been left out of the comparison. The current study compared motivation to partake in physical activity among adults whose primary type of physical activity was exercise, sport, or recreation. Results indicate that participation motivation significantly varied among physical activity types (exercise, sport, and recreation). It was found that the participants who engaged in recreation as their primary form of physical activity and the participants who took part in exercise as their primary form of physical activity had motivations that were more similar to one another's than to those of the participants who use sport as their primary form of physical activity. Specifically, the findings suggest that participants who use exercise and recreation activities as their primary form of physical activity are motivated by more extrinsic constructs, compared to those who engage in sport as their primary form of physical activity. Findings provide insight that can be used to facilitate improved adherence to physical activity recommendations.
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Background: The pandemic inflicted by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in physical isolation measures in many parts of the world. In Australia, nationwide restrictions included staying at home, unless seeking medical care, providing care, purchasing food, undertaking exercise, or attending work in an essential service. All undergraduate university classes transitioned to online, mostly home-based learning. This disruption to daily life may have consequences for eating and physical activity patterns. Methods: In this observational study, we examined the effect of isolation measures, during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia (March/April), on diet (24-hour diet recall, ASA-24) and physical activity (Active Australia Survey) patterns among third-year biomedical students in Brisbane, Australia. Findings were compared to students enrolled in the same course in the previous two years. Results: In females, energy intake was ~20% greater in 2020 compared with 2018 and 2019, and the frequency of snacking and energy density of consumed snacks were also increased. In males, there was no difference in energy intake or snacking behaviour. Physical activity was impacted for both sexes, whereby fewer students undertook any walking activity and, of those that did, time spent doing so was less compared with 2018 and 2019. The proportion of students reporting any vigorous activity was not different for males or females but, among males who participated in this level of activity, the duration was less in 2020 compared with previous years. The proportion of male and female students achieving sufficient levels of activity, defined by at least 150 mins over at least 5 sessions, was ~30% less in 2020. Indeed, the majority of students reported as having undertaken less physical activity than usual. Conclusions: Increased energy intake for females and reduced physical activity for males and females demonstrate impacts of isolation measures that may have deleterious consequences for physical and mental wellbeing, with the potential to affect long-term nutrition and activity patterns.
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Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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