Age, Sex, and Socioeconomic Status: Related Factors in Motivations for Exercise

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purposes of this study were (a) to determine if age, sex, and socioeconomic status were related factors in motivations for exercise in adults who participated in planned regular physical activity/exercise (b) to ascertain the differences in motivations/reasons given for participating in planned regular physical activity/exercise, during leisure time, between the regular exerciser and the non-regular exerciser, and (c) to gather demographic data pertinent to adult males and adult females who engage in planned regular physical activity/exercise, during their leisure time, and those who do not. A sample of 692 adults who identified themselves as regular exercisers (87.4%) or nonregular exercisers (12.6%) completed the Exercise Motivation Inventory-2 developed by Markland and Ingledew (1997). Resulting data were analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics, t-tests with a Boneferoni adjustment, Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances, One-way ANOVA, MANOVA, and Tukey Post Hoc Analysis.

All populations ranked the subscale of “positive health” as the primary motivation to participate in regular exercise. Other subscale rankings varied upon the population responding. The most common other high ranking subscales identified, regardless of age, sex, or socioeconomic status were strength and endurance, weight management, ill-health avoidance, enjoyment, nimbleness, and appearance. Resulting data indicated significant findings between males and females for five subscales (enjoyment, challenge, social recognition, competition, and weight management), between males and females in three of the four age groups for four subscales (social recognition, competition, weight management, and strength and endurance), and between different levels of socioeconomic status for 10 of the subscales (enjoyment, challenge, social recognition, affiliation, competition, ill health avoidance, positive health, appearance, strength and endurance, and nimbleness). Significant findings were found between the regular exerciser and the non-regular exerciser in 12 of the 14 subscales.

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