University of Twente Student Theses


Exercise? I thought you said "extra fries" : finding preferences in peer-written motivational messages for tailoring to increase physical activity

Kwint, S.J.M. (2016) Exercise? I thought you said "extra fries" : finding preferences in peer-written motivational messages for tailoring to increase physical activity.

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Abstract:Background: Physical inactivity is a global issue and is an important risk factor of premature death. Lack of exercise increases the risk of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes type II and cancers. Lack of motivation appears to be an important explanation for the finding that people don’t exercise enough. In health care, the use of a mobile phone is increasingly recognized as an important tool for the delivery of interventions. Sending text messages as intervention may be a promising way to promote physical activity. However, it is unknown what specific content text messages should contain, and what people prefer. By determining the content and preferences of people, text messages can be tailored. Consequently, the probability that people pay attention to the message, think (actively) about the message and will be persuaded by the message is increased. Aim: Aim of this study is to gain insight into preferences for a type of motivational message that promotes physical activity. In addition, it is examined whether these preferences are associated with people’s demographic characteristics (gender, age and education), stage of change and personality. Method: In this study, a correlational and crossectional design was used. 350 participants completed a survey and assessed the motivating value of 50 text messages that were written by peers. The survey also included questions about demographics (gender, age and education), stages of change and personality. A factoranalysis is used to examine underlying factors. The scores on the factors correlated with demographics, stage of change and personality. Results: The factoranalysis yielded eight factors (types of motivational messages): Motivating compliments, Anticipated regret, Advantages exercises, Social norms, Facilitation, Direct activation, Encouragement after relapse and Implementation intentions. The motivational messages that belong to Motivating compliments, Advantages exercises and Encouragement after relapse, are evaluated as most motivating. With regard to demographics, only gender was significantly associated with types of motivational messages. In contrast to men, women think messages that belong to Anticipated regret and Social norms are less eligible as motivational messages. Several significant differences were found between the stages of change and preferences for motivational messages. The most common differences were found between the Precontemplation stage and the Action stage. In terms of personality most differences were found in the personality traits Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Conclusion: This study gains insight in preferences for motivational messages and when text messages could be tailored. In general, the motivational messages that are positively framed, are motivating for everyone. A distinction can be made into preferences for motivational messages with regard to gender, stage of change and personality traits. It is recommended to tailor these motivational messages in an experiment to assess whether these messages actually motivate people to be more physical active. In addition, it is also recommended to investigate how people in the Precontemplation stage can be reached to become more motivate to start with physical activity.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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