Koustravas M.1, Dimitriadis Z.2,3, Stasinopoulos D.1, Kapreli E.3, Sacha M.4, Strimpakos N.3,5
1European University of Cyprus, Physiotherapy, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2Technological Educational Institution of Athens, Physiotherapy, Athens, Greece, 3Technological Educational Institution of Sterea Ellada, Physiotherapy, Lamia, Greece, 4Physiopolis Rehabilitation Center, Athens, Greece, 5University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Background: Physical activity may have important consequences in health and social life. Intervention strategies and policies for increasing physical activity prerequisite a clear understanding about the motives leading to increased physical activity. Although a number of studies have been conducted towards this direction, the physical activity motives in Greek population remain unexplored.

Purpose: The main aim of this study was to examine the physical activity motives of adults and their association with physical activity level. A secondary aim was the construction of a regression model in order to understand the unique contribution of each motive as well as to examine their ability to predict the physical activity level.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 108 healthy adults from Thessaloniki between 18-35 year old participated (male/female 53/55, age 27.4±5.7 years, height 171.6±9.1 cm, weight 70.7±12 kg, BMI 23.9±2.9 kg/m2). Participants completed a general health and demographics questionnaire. Furthermore, they completed the Assessment Scale for Physical Activities Completion (ASCUPA), the Short Scale of Physical Activity Motives (SSPAM), a Visual Analogue Scale for their motive and motivation to complete a physical activity (VAS motivation) and the Baecke Questionnaire for Habitual Physical Activity.

Results: Improvement of physical activity was the most usual motive reported (92.6%). Appearance, enjoyment, personal improvement, psychological relaxation and medical reasons were also frequent motives. Ego and economical reasons were not found to be usual motives for physical activity in this population. People of Thessaloniki had approximately five different motives for physical activity. They also had a moderate to high motivation for physical activity (VAS motivation 6.5±2.2 cm) whereas 41.7% of the participants reported that they stop a physical activity when they feel really tired. Ego (rs 0.19, p 0.05), enjoyment (rs 0.25, p 0.05), personal improvement (rs 0.41, p 0.001) and economical reasons (rs 0.33, p 0.01) were the motives that were significantly associated with physical activity level. Physical activity level was also associated with VAS motivation (r s 0.43, p 0.001), ASCUPA (rs 0.36, p 0.001), number of motives (rs 0.27, p 0.01) and main motive (η2 0.15, p 0.05). In the multiple regression model only personal improvement and VAS motivation remained as significant predictors of physical activity into the model (R=0.60, R2=0.36, adjusted R2=0.34, p 0.001).

Conclusion(s): Enjoyment and personal improvement were the two motives that were found not only to be frequently reported among young adults of Thessaloniki, but also to be able to predict their physical activity level.

Implications: Therapists and governments should use the findings of the current study to direct policies for improving the physical activity of the citizens. However, further research in people of other geographic regions could provide a more comprehensive knowledge about the motives that lead people to be physical active

Funding acknowledgements: The study was self-funded.

Topic: Health promotion & wellbeing/healthy ageing

Ethics approval: The study was accepted as an MSc thesis from the European University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.

All authors, affiliations and abstracts have been published as submitted.

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