The relationship between extrinsic motivation and physical activity level among students

Azlan Ahmad Kamal, Ahmad Fahim Zulkifli



Nowadays, people have realized that physical activity play critical role in determining health and wellness of an individual. This is proven by the existence of many research on this area which indicate that people start to emphasize in this matter. In addition, it is also well known that motivation is one of the main factor that determine whether people will participate in performing physical activity or not. Either extrinsic or intrinsic, both play major role in determining the level of physical activity. Therefore, this study is made to investigate the relationship between extrinsic motivation and physical activity level. The researcher has selected randomly 195 students from SMK Alam Megah 2, Seksyen 28, Shah Alam, Selangor as a respondent for this study. The method of this study is by using questionnaire that adapted from International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Exercise Motivation Inventory (EMI), which then being edited to fulfil the requirement of this study. The results from this study show that there are positive and significant relationship between extrinsic motivation and physical activity.

Full Text:



Abbott, B. D., & Barber, B. L. (2010). Differences in functional and aesthetic body image between sedentary girls and girls involved in sports and physical activity: Does sport type make a difference? Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(3), 333-342.

Anselme, P. (2009). The uncertainty processing theory of motivation. Behavioural Brain Research, 208(2), 291-310.

Ayub, N. (2010). Effect of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on academic performance. Pakistan Business Review, 8, 363-372.

Ainsworth, B. E., Haskell, W. L., Whitt, M. C., Irwin, M. L., Swartz, A. M., Strath, S. J., O'Brien, W. L., Bassett, D. R. Jr., Schmitz, K. H., Emplaincourt, P. O., Jacobs, D. R. Jr., Leon, A. S. (2000). Compendium Of Physical Activities: An Update Of Activity Codes And Met Intensities. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32(9 Suppl), S498-504.

Brener, N. D., Eaton, D. K., Kann, L. K., McManus, T. S., Lee, S. M., Scanlon, K. S., Fulton J. E., & O’Toole, T. P. (2013). Behaviors related to physical activity and nutrition among U.S. high school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(4), 539-546.

Caspersen, C. J., Powell, K. E., & Christenson, G. M. (1985). Physical activity, exercise and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Reports, 100(2), 126–131.

Caviness, C. M., Bird, J. L., Anderson, B. J., Abrantes, A. M., & Stein, M. D. (2013). Minimum recommended physical activity, and perceived barriers and benefits of exercise in methadone maintained persons. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 457-462.

Caviness, C. M., Bird, J. L., Anderson, B. J., Abrantes, A. M., & Stein, M. D. (2012). Minimum recommended physical activity, and perceived barriers and benefits of exercise in methadone maintained persons. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 457-462.

Pan, C. Y., Tsai, C-L., Chu, C. H., & Hsieh, K. W. (2011). Physical activity and self-determined motivation of adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorders in inclusive physical education. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(2), 733-741.

Demirci, N., Osman, A., & Özmen, A. (2012). The influence of physical activity level on the children’s learning ability of disabled children having difficulties in learning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69, 1572-1578.

Elena, S., Georgeta, N., Cecilia, G., & Elena, L. (2011). The attitude of the elderly persons towards health related physical activities. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 1913-1919.

Giel, K. E., Kullmann, S., Preißl, H., Bischoff, S. C., Thiel, A., Schmidt, U., Zipfel, S. & Teufel, M. (2013). Understanding the reward system functioning in anorexia nervosa: Crucial role of physical activity. Biological Psychology 94(3), 575-581.

Granger, C. L., McDonald, C. F., Irving, L., Clark, R. A., Gough, K., Murnane, A., Mileshkin, L., Krishnasamy, M., & Denehy, L. (2013). Low physical activity levels and functional decline in individuals with lung cancer. Lung Cancer, 83(2), 292-299.

Gunnell, K. E., Crocker, P. R. E., Wilson, P. M., Mack, D. E., & Zumbo, B. D. (2013). Psychological need satisfaction and thwarting: A test of Basic Psychological Needs Theory in physical activity contexts. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14(5), 599-607.

Hinkley, T., Teychenne, M., Downing, K. L., Ball, K., Salmon, J., & Hesketh, K. D. (2014). Early childhood physical activity, sedentary behaviors and psychosocial well-being: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 62, 182-192.

Hohepa, M., Schofield, G., & Kolt, G. S. (2006). Physical activity: what do high school students think? Journal of Adolescent Health, 39(3), 328-336.

Hohepa, M., Scraggb, R., Schofielda, G., Kolta, G. S., & Schaafb, D. (2009). Self-reported physical activity levels during a segmented school day in a large multiethnic sample of high school students. Journal of Science and Medicine, 12(2), 284-292.

Jacka, F. N., Pasco, J. A., Williams, L. J., Leslie, E. R., Dodda, S., Nicholson, G. C., Kotowicz, M. A., & Berk, M. (2010). Lower levels of physical activity in childhood associated with adult depression. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 14, 222-226.

Jongeneel-Grimen, B. A. N., MariëlDroomers, A., vanOers, H. A. M., Stronks, K., & Kunst, A. E. (2013). The relationship between physical activity and the living environment: A multi-level analyses focusing on changes over time in environmental factors. Health & Place, 149-160.

Kahn, E. B., Ramsey, L. T., Brownson, R. C., Heath, G. W., Howze, E. H., Powell, K. E., Stone, E. J., Rajab, M. W., & Corso, P. (2002). The Effectiveness of Interventions to Increase Physical Activity: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22(4 Suppl), 73-107.

Kilpatrick, M., Hebert, E., & Batholomew, J. (2005). College students' motivation for physical activity: Differentiating men's and women's motives for sports participation and exercise. Journal of American College Health, 54(2), 87-94.

Lemos, M. S., & Veríssimo, L. (2014). The relationships between intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and achievement, along elementary school. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112(7), 930-938.

Lonsdale, C., Rosenkranz, R. R., Peralta, L. R., Bennie, A., Fahey, P., & Luban, D. R. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions designed to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in school physical education lessons. Preventive Medicine, 56(2), 152-161.

Lonsdale, C., Sabiston, C. M., Taylor, I. M., & Ntoumanis, N. (2011). Measuring student motivation for physical education: Examining the psychometric properties of the Perceived Locus of Causality Questionnaire and the Situational Motivation Scale. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(3), 284-292.

Markland, D. (1999). Self-determination moderates the effects of perceived competence on intrinsic motivation in an exercise setting. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 21(4), 351-361.

Mesa, J. A., Suárez, M. F., Arbeláez, A., Mosquera, M., Pradilla, A., Aguilar de Plata, A. C., & Ramírez-Vélez, R. (2011). Lack of relationship of physical activity level with cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic syndrome in apparently healthy men. Endocrinología y Nutrición (English Edition), 58(2), 68-74.

Mudrák, J., Slepička, P., & Slepičková, I. (2014). Perceived health and motivation to physical activity in seniors. Kontakt, 16(1), e44-e50.

Moreno, J. A., González-Cutre, D., Sicilia, A., & Spray, C. M. (2010). Motivation in the exercise setting: Integrating constructs from the approach avoidance achievement goal framework and self-determination theory. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 542-550.

Norton, K., Norton, L., & Sadgrove, D. (2010). Position statement on physical activity and exercise intensity terminology. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13(5), 496-502.

Ojanen, T., Sijtsema, J. J., Hawley, P. H., & Little, T. D. (2010). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in early adolescents’ friendship development: Friendship selection, influence, and prospective friendship quality. Journal of Adolescence, 3(6), 837-851.

Owen, K. B., Astell-Burt, T., & Lonsdale, C. (2013). The relationship between self-determined motivation and physical activity in adolescent boys. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(3), 420-422.

Pirrie, A. M., & Lodewyk, K. R. (2012). Investigating links between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and cognitive performance in elementary school students. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5(1), 93-98.

Piskozub, A. T. (2013). Exercise Motivators and Exercise Causality Among Andrews University Students: a Correlational Study. Andrews University. Retrieved from

Ploeg, K. A. V., Maximova, K., McGavock, J., & Davis, W. (2014). Do school-based physical activity interventions increase or reduce. Social Science & Medicine, 112, 80-87.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67.

Riner, W. F., & Sellhorst, S. H. (2012). Physical ctivity and exercise in children with chronic health conditions. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2(1), 12–20.

Sängera, J., & Wascher, E. (2011). The influence of extrinsic motivation on competition-based selection. Behavioural Brain Research, 224(1), 58-64.

Seghers, J., Vissers, N., Rutten, C., Decroos, S., & Boen, F. (2014). Intrinsic goals for leisure-time physical activity predict children’s daily step counts through autonomous motivation. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(3), 247-254.

Siu-Lung Kong, J., Chi-Wai Kwok, R., & Fang, Y. (2011). The effects of peer intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on MMOG game-based collaborative learning. Information & Management, 49(1), 1-9.

Slater, A., & Tiggemann, M. (2011). Gender differences in adolescent sport participation, teasing, self-objectification and body image concerns. Journal of Adolescence, 34(3), 455-463.

Slater, A., & Tiggemann, M. (2010). “Uncool to do sport”: A focus group study of adolescent girls’ reasons for withdrawing from physical activity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 619-626.

Strobl, R., Müller, M., Thorand, B., Linkohr, B., Autenrieth, C. S., Peters, A., Grill, E. (2014). Men benefit more from midlife leisure-time physical activity than women regarding the development of late-life disability — Results of the KORA-Age study. Preventive Medicine, 62, 8-13.

Tatar, Y. (2010). Body image and its relationship with exercise and sports in Turkish lower-limb amputees who use prosthesis. Science & Sports, 25(6), 312-317.

Vandewater, E. A., Mi-suk Shim, Caplovitz, A. G. (2004). Linking obesity and activity level with children’s television and video game use. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 71-85.

Vallerand, R. (2004). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Sport. Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology, 2, 427-435. 10.1016/B0-12-657410-3/00835-7.

Yoo, S. J., Han, S., & Huang, W. (2012). The roles of intrinsic motivators and extrinsic motivators in promoting e-learning in the workplace: A case from South Korea. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 942-950.

Zook, K. R., Saksvig, B. I., Wu, T. T., & Young, D. R. (2014). Physical activity trajectories and multilevel factors among adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54(1), 74-80.