Older adults' intrinsic and extrinsic motivation toward physical activity

Am J Health Behav. 2008 Nov-Dec;32(6):570-82. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2008.32.6.570.


Objectives: To examine how motives discriminate 3 physical activity levels of inactive, active, and sustained maintainers.

Methods: Six hundred forty-five adults (M age = 63.8) completed stage-of-change and Exercise Motivations Inventory (EMI-2) scales. Exploratory factor analysis established psychometric properties of the EMI-2 suitable for older adults.

Results: Six factors emerged in the EMI-2: health and fitness, social/emotional benefits, weight management, stress management, enjoyment, and appearance. Enjoyment contributed most to differentiating activity levels. Moderators of age and gender were delineated.

Conclusions: Intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation distinguish older adults' activity levels.

MeSH terms

  • Demography
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires