Work Type



Fall 2018

Faculty Advisor

Danny McMillian, PT, DSc




The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze how motivational characteristics, fulfillment of psychological needs, and individual experiences and beliefs play a role in influencing individuals’ motivation for physical activity. Validated questionnaires, including the International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ), Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction and Frustration Scale (BPNSFS), and Motives for Physical Activities Measure Revised (MPAM-R) were used along with a narrative approach via recorded interviews to elucidate the experiences of highly active middle-aged adults. Videos were created to capture “movement stories” that combined footage of participants doing the physical activities they enjoyed along with pieces of their interviews.

The MPAM-R showed that ranking for interest/enjoyment and competence tended to be higher (45 and 44.4 respectively), while motives for social/relatedness and appearance tended to be ranked lower (22.2 and 28.8 respectively). The BPNSFS showed that the participants of this study tended to rank their satisfaction higher than frustration in the three realms of basic needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Statements prioritizing competence were the most frequently mentioned during interviews (6.6 times) followed by statements of social/relatedness (5.8 times) and then interest/enjoyment (5.6 times). Statements about fitness (2.2 times) and appearance (2.8 times) were the least frequently mentioned categories. The MPAM-R in contrast showed that social/relatedness was the least common motivational factor, despite being heavily mentioned during interviews. This study suggests that psychological satisfaction is a common characteristic among highly active individuals, and that competence may be the most important motivating factor, followed by personal enjoyment, and relatedness to others.


University of Puget Sound