Motivations to Engage in Physical Activity Among Non-traditional College Students at a Hispanic-serving Institution

Jacob Michael EUBANK, Em V. ADAMS, Hyangmi KIM


Exercise motivations for undergraduate college students vary for numerous reasons. Regardless of those reasons, it is important for higher education administrators to understand these motivations to provide opportunities that increase exercise behavior. Undergraduate students attending a Hispanic-serving Institution (HSI) in a metro area in the northeast region of the United States were administered the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 (EMI-2) (N = 140) to ascertain their motivations to engage in physical activity (PA), particularly to compare the differences between traditional (TS) and non-traditional (NTS) college students. Three variations (i.e., age, children, and employment status) were used to compare the different motivations to engage in PA. NTS over 25 years old or having children scored significantly higher on the physical and psychological health-related motivations (e.g., ill-health avoidance, positive health, stress management, and revitalization). TS scored significantly higher on social-related motivations (e.g., affiliation and competition). There was no significant difference in motivation to engage in PA between students’ employment status. Results highlight different motivations to engage in PA between TS and NTS. This article presents tailored interventions for specific student cohorts to promote an increase in PA participation at HSI.

Keywords: Exercise Motivation, Hispanic-Serving Institution, Non-Traditional College Students, Physical Activity, Traditional College Students

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