Images of exercising: Exploring the links between exercise imagery use, autonomous and controlled motivation to exercise, and exercise intention and behavior

Damian Stanley, Jennifer Cumming, Martyn Standage, Joan Duda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: In the present study, we tested a model examining the relationships between exercise imagery use, motivational regulations for exercise engagement, intention to exercise, and self-reported exercise behavior. This work represents an initial attempt to examine relationships between a new type of exercise imagery (enjoyment imagery) and motivational regulations for exercise.
Design: Cross-sectional.
Method: Exercisers with a mean age of 40.29 years (SD = 13.29; 177 female, 141 male) completed measures of the targeted variables.
Results: Structural equation modeling analyses revealed direct and indirect (via motivational regulations) links between imagery and exercise-related outcomes. Technique and enjoyment imagery were positively related to autonomous motivation. Conversely, appearance imagery was positively associated with controlled motivation. Direct relationships were evidenced between energy imagery and self-reported exercise behavior, and between appearance imagery and intention to exercise.
Conclusions: The potential motivational functions served by different exercise imagery types are discussed, and the inclusion of enjoyment imagery in future exercise imagery research is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-141
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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