A Comparison of Motivational Factors and Barriers to Physical Activity Among Traditional Versus Nontraditional College Students

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Objective: To investigate the motivational factors and the barriers to physical activity (PA) in traditional college students (TS) and nontraditional college students (NTS) and determine if differences exist between these 2 groups.

Participants: A total of 746 college students; 628 were TS (19.1 ± 1.2 years), and 118 were NTS (31.2 ± 8.6 years).

Methods: In fall 2010, students voluntarily completed a demographic questionnaire, Barriers to Being Active Quiz, and Exercise Motivations Inventory–2 (EMI-2).

Results: EMI-2 revealed that TS and NTS differed on 8 of the 14 motivational factors for exercise. There was a significant difference between TS and NTS for the following barriers: fear of injury (p= .001), lack of resources (p= .017), and lack of skill (p= .003).

Conclusion: Based on these findings, interventions can be developed for the varied needs of a diverse student population as it pertains to PA participation.