The Impact of Habit Trackers, Healthy Lifestyles and Exercise Motives of University Students in Toronto
AbstractEncouraging a healthy and active lifestyle is an important aspect of societal institutions. In spite of these efforts, young adults are still not meeting physical activity guidelines, leading to serious health problems. This study looked to determine the exercise motivations of university students and worked to help academics understand and determine whether a self-reported, healthy-lifestyle habit tracker can improve an individual’s health, generate greater awareness of the benefits of being physically active—including academic benefits of living a healthy lifestyle; and change their behaviors. With this in mind, students from a large downtown Toronto-based university were recruited for this study and were required to answer two surveys, six weeks apart after receiving a healthy lifestyle tracking tool. The questionnaires measured individuals’ healthy lifestyle behaviors by using a modified Healthy Lifestyle Scale for University Students (HLSUS) and exercise motivations by using the Exercise Motivations Index-2 (EMI-2). Our research suggests that exercise motivations of university-aged students are similar, but that there are significant differences between gender, race, and age group. The study results also indicated that using the physical habit tracker was not correlated with increased healthy lifestyle behaviors but did increase awareness of the academic benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. KEYWORDS: motivations, behaviors, healthy lifestyle, exercise
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