Variety of exercise, self-perceptions of fitness, autonomous motivation and sensation seeking behavior

Michael Boyd

San Francisco State, University San Francisco, USA

The study examined the relationship between perceived variety of exercise and self-perceptions of fitness, autonomous motivation, and sensation seeking behavior. Male and female (N = 170) undergraduates enrolled in physical activity courses in a Northern California university completed several response measures. Variety of exercise was dichotomized into high and low groups utilizing a median split. One-way multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant relationship between the high and low variety of exercise groups on several outcome variables, Wilks’ ∧ = .720, F(6, 160) = 10.35, p < .0001. Univariate analysis of variance demonstrated that the high variety group expressed significantly higher self-perceptions of physical condition, physical strength, and sport competence, as well as higher levels of autonomous motivation and sensation seeking behavior. The findings underscore the relevance of variety of exercise in relation to perceptions of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, intrinsic motivation, and an inherent need to engage sensation seeking behavior in pursuit of variable modalities of exercise, enhanced fitness, and enjoyment.

Keywords: Fitness, Motivation, Sensation seeking, Variety of exercise