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ERIC Number: EJ1022330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
Flow for Exercise Adherence: Testing an Intrinsic Model of Health Behavior
Petosa, R. Lingyak; Holtz, Brian
American Journal of Health Education, v44 n5 p273-277 2013
Background: Health behavior theory generally does not include intrinsic motivation as a determinate of health practices. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the flow theory of exercise adherence. Flow theory posits that exercise can be intrinsically rewarding if the experiences of self/time transcendence and control/mastery are achieved during performance. It was hypothesized that higher levels of flow during exercise would be associated with exercise adherence rates. Methods: Expert panel review, test-retest, and factor analysis were used to establish the reliability and validity of a Flow for Exercise Adherence Scale. Free-living exercise among 445 young adults (age range 19-29) was tracked for 4 weeks to test the scale. Results: Flow scale scores differentiated between stages of change for exercise as theorized. Flow scale scores were significantly correlated with days of vigorous physical activity for subjects in the maintenance ("r" = 0.52) and action ("r" = 0.31) stages. Discussion: The results of this study are consistent with flow theory. Intrinsic motivation can be an important factor in free-living exercise adherence. Translation to Health Education Practice: Health educators may enhance program effectiveness by using flow theory to focus on intrinsic motivations for the target health behavior.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A