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Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología

Print version ISSN 0120-0534


SICILIA, Álvaro et al. Reasons why people do exercise: A study using Self-Determination Theory. rev.latinoam.psicol. [online]. 2014, vol.46, n.2, pp.83-91. ISSN 0120-0534.

Based on self-determination theory, the objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between the reasons for exercise and its reported weekly frequency in a representative sample of an adult urban population. A total of 918 inhabitants, aged between 16 and 89, participated in this study answering the Spanish version of the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 (EMI-2) and reporting on their exercise frequency. Controlling for the influence of age and gender, multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) showed that participants who reported the highest exercise frequency had the highest score on both self-determined and controlling exercise motives, except the ill-health avoidance motive. The results support propositions of self-determination theory, and suggest that citizens may internalize exercise behaviour as they become more physically active. However, the results also suggest that some controlling motives are pertinent to exercise. Decision makers of the local sport policy should look into suitable ways of combining both controlling motives and more internalized motives in order to produce long lasting exercise adherence in citizens.

Keywords : Reasons for exercising; Self-determined motivation; Adherence to exercise; Municipal sport policy.

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