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

S J Sebire, Martyn Standage, M Vansteenkiste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 (M-age = 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-197
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume33
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • exercise goals
  • motivation
  • accelerometer
  • self-determination theory

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