Exercise motivation and barriers among men and women of different age groups

  • AJ Louw
  • A Van Biljon
  • SC Mugandani
Keywords: Exercise, motives, barriers


Regular physical activity is beneficial to all individuals for a variety of reason, yet many individuals do not engage in sufficient physical activity. The purpose of this study was to establish exercise motivation and barriers among different age and gender groups. The study included 154 participants with 77 (50%) males and 77 (50%) females recruited from three different fitness centres. A survey was modified for this specific study from The Exercise Motivations Inventory 2 and The Exercise Causality Orientations Scale. Results showed that the most common perceived motives for exercise were ‘general health’, ‘maintain fitness’, to ‘feel good’, ‘strength and endurance’ and to ‘feel energised’. The motives changed when comparisons were made between different age and gender groups. Females indicated ‘control weight’ to be a stronger exercise motive while the senior group agreed that exercise to ‘manage stress’ was more important. Common barriers for exercise included ‘lack of time’, focus on ‘other priorities’, the perception that ‘daily routine provides a workout’, ‘lack of energy’ and because of ‘health issues’. Barriers to exercise among the groups included, ‘I don’t have an exercise partner’ which was more of a concern among younger groups and a ‘lack of knowledge’ which was more prevalent among the senior groups. A variety of other motives and barriers were identified. The motives and barriers cited by participants in this study provide useful information and can be of assistance to health care providers by understanding exercise preferences in different age and gender groups and as a result addressing specific exercise barriers to promote exercise adherence.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939