Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date


BURS Faculty Advisor

Linda Jones

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Title: Exercise Motivation Based on Gender and Body Satisfaction

Authors: Amanda Myers, Macie Culbertson, Taylor Garrels, Caroline Gheen, Amelia Hayes, Christopher Toepfer

The goals behind an individual's wish to exercise varies depending on person and gender. Assumptions can be made that those who partake in exercise are individuals who are happier with their bodies, however, that may not always be the case. The purpose of this study was to measure the relationship between body appreciation and students’ motivation and frequency of exercise habits, and how these correlations differed between men and women. Research has found that women who workout tend to exercise due to appearance-based motivations, like weight control and toned physique (McDonald & Thompson, 1992). Men who workout are found to have more functional-based motivation such as increasing their strength and competition (McDonald & Thompson, 1992). Additionally, those who participate in appearance motivated workouts tend to have lower body appreciation and time spent exercising has been found to be inversely correlated (Homan & Tylka, 2014; Prichard & Tiggemann, 2008). This study hypothesized that women who workout more will have more appearance-based motivation, and will score lower on the body appreciation scale. Men who workout more are expected to have more functional motivation for exercise and will score higher on the body appreciation scale.

Participants were undergraduate general psychology students that were voluntarily recruited through a midsized university in the South. Participants were measured on their body satisfaction using the Body Appreciation Scale, motivations to exercise using The Reasons for Exercise Inventory, and frequency of exercise using The Obligatory Exercise Questionnaire. A Pearson's r correlation test was conducted to analyze the data.

Keywords: Motivation, Exercise, Gender, Body Satisfaction, Exercise Frequency, Body Image, College Students, Health

Abstract.docx (7 kB)