Fitness instructors role on exercise adherence in Portugal: the importance of need-supportive behaviors and motivational climates




The present study aimed to examine the association between fitness instructors’ interpersonal behaviors and motivational climates and exercise adherence. Two studies were conducted: in the first study, the effect of need-supportive and need-thwarting behaviors on basic psychological needs, and consequently on exercise adherence was analyzed; in the second study, the effect of ego and task-involving motivational climates on basic psychological needs, and consequently on exercise adherence was examined. Data was collected from several exercisers engaged in fitness activities in several gym and health clubs in Portugal. The results showed a positive association between need-supportive behaviors, task-involving climate, and basic psychological needs. These needs were respectively positively and significantly correlated with exercise adherence. Contrarily, need-thwarting behaviors displayed a negative, while ego-involving climates no association at all, with basic psychological needs. Overall, the data clearly shows an association between the way the fitness instructor is perceived by the exerciser and the number of accesses that the exerciser will have in the six months following the moment of the initial assessment. Therefore, fitness instructors have a considerable capacity to positively influence the exerciser's adherence, by creating a supportive environment during the training session.





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