Association of physical activity on exercise motivation and body mass index among university students

Keywords: body mass index, exercise motivation, physical activity, intrinsic motivation


Background and Study Aim. Motivation as a psychological feature that arouses and energizes people to action towards physical activity and makes them sustain to a physically active behavior. Motivation leads to increased participation in physical activity.  The objective of this study was to determine the association of physical activity to exercise motivation of university students at different levels of body mass index. Material and Methods. 140 undergraduate students Mean age 19±0.70 years randomly categorized into underweight <18.5 kg/m2 [n= 37: 26.4%]; normal-weight 18.5-24.9 kg/m2 [n= 31: 22.1%]; obese ≥30.00 kg/m2 [n=37: 26.4%] and obese class III ≥40.00 kg/m2 [n=35: 25%]. Exercise motivation measured through BREQ-2. Results. ANOVA revealed highly significant difference among BMI categories on intrinsic regulation (p=0.007<.05) and identified regulation (p=0.006<.05). Obese class III students differed on external regulation (p=0.003) and introjected regulations (p=0.011). The association of physical activity to exercise motivation revealed that students who engaged more time in physical activities had significantly higher scores on identified regulation (p < 0.05) and intrinsic regulation (p < 0.01). Conclusions. The results suggested that university students in all BMI categories were internally motivated. The normal weight students exhibited high intrinsic and identified regulation, which reflected as better autonomous motivation. Physical activity had strong association with intrinsic regulation and identified regulation. Obese class students exhibited higher degree of extrinsic motivation and amotivation. Students who engaged more time in physical activity had better intrinsic motivation.


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Author Biographies

Varghese C. Antony, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals; King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Kaukab Azeem, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals; King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia


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How to Cite
Antony V, Azeem K. Association of physical activity on exercise motivation and body mass index among university students. Physical education of students. 2021;25(2):129-35.