Mindfulness May Moderate the Relationship Between Intrinsic Motivation and Physical Activity: A Cross-Sectional Study

Abstract

This study aims to characterize the relationships between intrinsic motivation toward physical activity, mindfulness, and physical activity level. We measured self-reported mindfulness, motivational regulation toward exercise, and physical activity level in 280 French students. Analyses conducted on 244 participants revealed that self-reported mindfulness moderates the relationship between intrinsic motivation toward exercise and physical activity levels. These findings may have implications for interventionists seeking to promote increased physical activity with mindfulness-based techniques. In fact, it seems that increasing mindfulness skills of individuals could improve their intrinsic motivation to exercise and, thus, physical activity.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge Lise Anhoury (French Institute of Sport) and Joan Tihy (University of Caen) for the data collection, Nelly Erichot (Paris Descartes University) and Christophe Gernigon (Univeristy of Montpellier) for various comments on the manuscript, Catherine O’Malley and Laura Killian for translation corrections.

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Correspondence to Alexis Ruffault.

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All the participants gave their signed agreement to participate in the study. Participants were given a random code to withdraw from the study at any time after they filled out the questionnaires, upon their request. Institutional ethical approval was sought and given.

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None.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Ruffault, A., Bernier, M., Juge, N. et al. Mindfulness May Moderate the Relationship Between Intrinsic Motivation and Physical Activity: A Cross-Sectional Study. Mindfulness 7, 445–452 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-015-0467-7

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Keywords

  • Health behavior
  • Physical activity
  • Motivation
  • Mindfulness
  • Students