Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

Tanis J. Walch


Past research suggests that high cell phone usage is related to sedentary behavior, poor physical fitness, and poor mental health. College students cell phone usage has increased over previous years while physical activity levels have declined, but due to little research, this relationship is still unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between college student's smartphone usage, exercise motivation, and physical activity. College students completed an electronic survey (n=157; female = 135; age = 20.01±1.49; BMI = 24.39) that assessed exercise motivation, physical activity, smartphone usage, height and weight (to calculate BMI), depression, anxiety, stress and fear of missing out. Data was analyzed with Pearson correlation and independent t-tests using SPSS. Results showed that amotivation (p < 0.01) was positively associated with cell phone usage, while intrinsic motivation (p < 0.01) was negatively associated. High cell phone users (M = 0.75 ± 0.80) showed greater amotivation for exercise than low-users (M = 0.33 ± 0.52), while low-users showed higher levels of intrinsic motivation. This novel study suggests that cell phone usage may interfere with exercise motivation and could be a possible barrier for individuals trying to become more motivated to exercise. Future research should examine ways to limit cell phone use, increase motivation to exercise to improve overall quality of life.