Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

School

School of Health Professions

First Advisor

Winston Craig

Abstract

Purpose of the Study. A healthy, fit body and well-developed mind have been known to be very effective in helping students succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Understanding what motivators influence students in exercise participation, and how such motivators may influence choice in undertaking physical activities can be valuable information when planning college physical fitness courses and wellness activities. Further, it may reverse the trend of the findings that Andrews University students’ fitness declines while being in college as measured by 10 years of Microfit aggregated data. The purpose of this study was to identify the most important exercise motivators that influence Andrews University undergraduate students’ choices and behaviors toward acquiring a more physically active lifestyle. A second purpose was to investigate whether the exercise causality orientation profiles’ strength of Andrews University students was autonomous, controlled, or impersonal in the regulation of their behavior toward exercise. -- Method. This was a quantitative study utilizing a non-experimental and correlational research design. This study employed two survey questionnaires: The Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 (EMI-2) and The Exercise Causality Orientations Scale (ECOS). The EMI-2 included 51 items identifying 14 exercise motivators: enjoyment, challenge, revitalization, affiliation, competition, social recognition, positive health, stress management, strength and endurance, nimbleness, weight management, appearance, health pressure, and ill-health avoidance. Responses for EMI-2 survey were measured on a 6-point Likert-type scale. The Exercise Causality Orientations Scale included 21 questions identifying three exercise causality orientations: autonomous, control, and impersonal. The ECOS responses were measured on a 7-point Likert-type scale. The data were collected from 316 undergraduate students registered for Spring 2013 semester at Andrews University. In addition, four demographic items were part of the study. Data were statistically analyzed by using descriptive statistics, bivariate, and correlational analysis. The multiple linear regression analysis was employed to identify which of the 14 exercise motives are the significant predictors of exercise causality orientations profiles to be autonomous, control and impersonal among Andrews University students. The t test for independent sample was used to determine whether significant differences existed for exercise motivators and exercise causality orientations between students from the School of Health Professions and from the other schools. -- Results. The study revealed significant exercise motivation predictor variables for three exercise causality orientation profiles: autonomous, control, and impersonal, among Andrews University undergraduate students during the Spring 2013 semester. In addition, it exposed significant differences in the exercise motives and exercise causality orientation between the students from the School of Health Professions and other schools. The three significant exercise motivation predictors of autonomous exercise causality orientation arranged according to their importance were positive health, strength and endurance, and affiliation. Positive health and strength and endurance motives were positively correlated to the autonomous exercise causality orientation. However, the third significant exercise motivation predictor of affiliation was negatively correlated to the autonomous exercise causality orientation. Also, three exercise motivation predictors were found to be significantly correlated with the control exercise causality orientation. The strongest predictor was social recognition, next, weight management, and the third, affiliation. All three exercise motivation predictors were positively correlated to the control exercise causality orientation. The impersonal exercise causality orientation was significantly correlated with four exercise motivation predictor variables, which were social recognition, health pressures, affiliation, and competition. Three of them were positively correlated with the impersonal exercise causality orientation. Social recognition appeared to be the highest predictor, followed by health pressure and affiliation. The fourth one of competition was negatively correlated to the impersonal exercise causality orientation. The study revealed significant differences in the exercise motives and exercise causality orientation between the students from the School of Health Professions and other schools. The students from the School of Health Professions were found to be significantly higher when it comes to the exercise motives and exercise causality orientation. Eight out of 14 tested exercise motivation predictors were found significantly higher in intrinsic motives such as: enjoyment, revitalization, and affiliation, and extrinsic motives such as: positive health, strength and endurance, nimbleness, appearance, and ill-health avoidance. The significant differences for the exercise causality were found to be higher for the autonomous and control exercise causality orientations. -- Conclusions. The empirical findings gained from this study may impact how our educational institutions address the concerns for regular physical activity participation among college students. This may lead to employing motivational strategies in wider offerings in the fitness and wellness-oriented courses across Adventist universities and colleges.

Subject Area

Physical fitness., Exercise.

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