Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for many of today’s leading causes of ill health. In-order to increase physical activity (PA) participation and information about why people engage in PA is needed. We interviewed 11 recreational exercise participants to examine their goals for participating in recreation al exercise. Our results revealed 13 first-order themes, which we reduced to seven second-order themes (personal comparison, extrinsic rewards, social, physical condition, psychological condition, mastery, and enjoyment), and two general dimensions (intrinsic and extrinsic goals). We argue that self- determination theory (SDT) of motivation provides a strong foundation for understanding the goals and motives for recreational exercise. Also, future research should aim to develop a more comprehensive measure of motivation in recreational exercise and sport contexts.


Recreational Exercise, Motives, and Self-determination Theory (SDT)

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