Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Despite potential benefits of physical activity engagement for older adults, individuals over the age of 65 were more likely to report physical inactivity compared to younger and middle-aged adults. It is extremely important to understand factors influencing regular engagement in physical activity in older adults, particularly the role of affective response and exercise goals which have been greatly overlooked. Mixed findings have been reported in terms of age differences in affective response to daily physical activity while exercise goals in younger and older adults have not been thoroughly compared. Hence, the goal of this project was to determine age differences in affective response to daily physical activity and exercise goals and whether these differences are associated with overall physical activity levels. Younger (n=47) and older adults (n=47) completed one week of experience sampling during which they responded to daily prompts about their affect and physical activity. Overall physical activity levels were estimated via actigraphy. Across age groups (p=0.138), daily physical activity was found to be associated with greater high arousal positive affect relative to other activities (p<0.001). Generally, social context was not a significant moderator of affect after daily physical activity (p < 0.082), however, there was some evidence to suggest that being outdoors (p<0.033) and enjoying daily physical activity (p=0.001) was associated with greater high arousal positive affect in younger adults. In terms of exercise goals, older adults reported greater orientation towards instrumental relative to hedonic exercise goals compared to younger adults (p=0.027). Neither affective responses (p=0.488) nor exercise goals (p=0.912) were associated with overall physical activity levels. These results suggest that engagement in daily physical activity was associated with greater high arousal positive affect in younger and older adults. In addition, these affective responses and exercise goals may have a limited role in regular, sustained physical activity engagement.
Chair and Committee
Stojanovic, Marta, "The role of affect and exercise goals in physical activity engagement in younger and older adults" (2022). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2726.