Investigating and Increasing Physical Activity of Students: What Role Does Enjoyment Play?

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Ensuring that young people engage in sufficient levels of physical activity has been topic of various campaigns in the past. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the factors predicting physical activity frequency in students. Furthermore, an intervention aiming to increase physical activity levels by targeting either an enjoyment-related or a health goalrelated aspect was tested. The first study proposed a new framework inspired by the theory of planned behaviour. In total, 100 students from Radboud University Nijmegen and HAN University of Applied Sciences took part in an online survey. Results show that the proposed predictors individually did not predict physical activity intention. However, a further correlation analysis revealed that intention was moderately correlated with positive affect, negative affect, self-efficacy and self-identity. The second study asked participants to either generate ideas to make physical activity more enjoyable or get closer to a health goal by incorporating physical activity behaviours in their daily life. An interaction effect was hypothesized, with participants in the enjoyment-focus condition showing higher intention to engage in physical activity after the manipulation than people in the health goal-focus condition, which was not confirmed. However, an effect of time on physical activity intention was found. Another hypothesis proposed that people in the enjoyment-focus condition will be more motivated to implement the self-generated ideas than people in the health goal-focus group, which was confirmed. Future research may further investigate the benefits of enjoyment and self-generated content in physical activity interventions. Keywords: physical activity, health, sports intervention, enjoyment, health-goal, selfpersuasion
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen