Assessment of factors associated with exercise enjoyment

J Music Ther. Spring 2003;40(1):57-73. doi: 10.1093/jmt/40.1.57.


Participating in regular physical activity results in many positive physical and psychological effects. Even though this is widely known, the majority of Americans do not engage in regular physical activity and many persons who start an exercise program drop out shortly thereafter. A question of central importance is "What motivates a person to adhere to an exercise program?" A collection of quantitative and qualitative studies has shown enjoyment of exercise to be an important factor in determining adherence to exercise. Despite these findings, very little research has been conducted on factors contributing to exercise enjoyment. The purpose of this study was to examine variables believed to make such a contribution. Variables were selected based upon results of past research and theory. These were: satisfaction with the music used in the exercise environment, satisfaction with the exercise instructor, and salience of exercise role-identity (EIS). Subjects for this study were 282 female volunteers from not-for-credit aerobic dance classes at 2 university activity centers. Results revealed significant positive correlations between all 3 variables and exercise enjoyment, ranging from .34 to .45. Stepwise regression indicated that satisfaction with music (21%) accounted for the most variance in exercise enjoyment followed by satisfaction with the instructor (8%), and finally salience of exercise role identity (4%). Follow-up analyses to examine specific components of satisfaction with music and the exercise instructor were also conducted.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Midwestern United States
  • Motivation
  • Music*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physical Fitness / psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Support
  • Students