Physical activity has been shown to have a multitude of physical health benefits, including reduction of risk of certain illnesses and an overall improvement in physical and cognitive functioning. Current intervention techniques work to improve physical activity habits in participants through education about these long-term health benefits. However, most individuals living in the United States are not currently reaching ideal amounts of physical activity, suggesting that these interventions have not been entirely effective. Might an intervention that fosters intrinsic motivation via exercise enjoyment be more effective? The current study sought to compare a long-term health benefit-focused intervention to an alternative that focuses on immediate enjoyment of exercise. Participants were randomly assigned to one of these two intervention conditions. Participants reported their time spent doing physical activity and level of enjoyment of physical activity pre- and post-intervention. We found no significant differences between conditions. Frequency and enjoyment of physical activity increased post-intervention, regardless of condition. Future research should be done to correct the limitations of this study and gain a more accurate view into which factors are most important in exercise motivation.
- Why Exercise? An Intervention to Promote Healthy Activity