Walk for well-being: The main effects of walking on approach motivation
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of exercise in the development of self-efficacy and approach motivation. An 8-week blind experimental design was used (N = 185), with two control and two treatment groups. Already physically active participants were assigned to one control group, while participants that reported a sedentary lifestyle at pretest were randomly assigned to either a sedentary control group or one of two treatment groups that began a brisk walking intervention. Treatment group participants walked either outdoors or indoors for 30 min per day, 4 days per week, for 8 weeks. The indoor/outdoor treatment group assignment was implemented to determine if exercising outdoors enhanced the outcomes. Significant main effects of walking were found for exercise self-efficacy, general self-efficacy and global approach motivation tendencies. Walking outdoors resulted in the greatest gains in general self-efficacy and global approach motivation. Given the alarmingly sedentary nature of American culture, these findings further evidence how simple changes in physical activity may have profound effects on well-being.
KeywordsApproach motivation Emerging adulthood Exercise Outdoors Self-efficacy
This study was based on a doctoral dissertation completed by Christine Weinkauff Duranso under the direction of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The author thanks Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Jason Siegel, and Jeanne Nakamura for guidance in the development of this study.
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