Age and sex differences in prospective effects of health goals and motivations on daily leisure-time physical activity.
OBJECTIVE: To examine relationships between health goals, types of motivation for those goals, and daily leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), and whether these relationships differ by age or sex. METHODS: From 2005 to 2008, 710 participants in and around Berlin, Germany provided life goals and motivational attributes of those goals at baseline, then reported LTPA daily for 25 days. RESULTS: Having (vs. not having) a goal of physical health predicted higher odds of engaging in LTPA for younger but not older participants (under age 30; OR=1.26, p=0.048), and was not related to duration of LTPA episodes. Effect of intrinsic motivation for the health goal differed by sex: for females, higher intrinsic motivation predicted higher odds of LTPA (OR=1.19, p=0.001), but was not related to duration. For males, higher intrinsic motivation predicted lower LTPA odds marginally (OR=0.70, p=0.054) but predicted longer duration (estimate=18.27 min, p<0.001). More approach motivation for the health goal predicted longer duration of LTPA episodes (0.67 min, p=0.022). CONCLUSIONS: One size does not fit all in LTPA intervention design. Future research should identify the mechanisms by which health goals and motivations affect health behavior.
Gallagher, P; Yancy, WS; Swartout, K; Denissen, JJA; Kühnel, A; Voils, CI
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