Comparing Exercise Motivations for Each Stage of Change Among People with a Physical Disability: A Pilot Study


  • Jereme D. Wilroy
  • Adam P. Knowlden
  • David A. Birch


exercise motivations, disability, physical activity


Background: In 2011, over 19.9 million individuals in the United States identified as living with an ambulatory disability, which increases risk for chronic diseases. The purpose of the study was to compare motivations for exercise and physical activity stages of readiness among people with physical disabilities. The primary hypothesis was that there were significant differences in exercise motivations among individuals in various stages of readiness for physical activity. Methods: Respondents (n = 141) included clients of two medical supply companies contacted via email and advertisements on the companies’ Facebook page and website. The instrument used in this study included items from the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 and the Physical Activity Stages of Change Questionnaire, and demographic items that addressed gender and ethnicity/race. The dependent variables included the five stages of readiness (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance). The independent variables included 14 constructs hypothesized to influence exercise motivations. Data were collected online, over a four-week period. Results: Analysis found that enjoyment (p = .012) and revitalization (p = .041) were significant overall and post hoc found significant difference based on whether individuals were in the precontemplation or maintenance stages of readiness for physical activity. Conclusions: The exercise motivations of enjoyment and revitalization were higher for those in the maintenance stage compared to those in the precontemplation stage. These results suggest interventions with people in the precontemplation stage should focus on improving the perceived enjoyment of physical activity as well as the positive side effects of physical activity, such as increased feelings of well-being for this population. Recommendations for intervention design and implementation are provided.



Feature Articles