Recreational athletes' running motivations as predictors of their use of online fitness community features

Jeroen Stragier*, Mariek Vanden Abeele, Lieven De Marez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Fitness wearables and apps provide users with quantified information about their exercise behaviour. Users often access this information on online fitness communities (OFCs) such as RunKeeper or Strava. These OFCs do not only provide feedback on the user's performance but also offer social features. To date, little is known about the extent to which the different features in OFCs answer to users' motivations to exercise. This study addresses this question, by examining (1) whether there are differences in motivations for running between OFC users and non-users and (2) whether the use of particular features is driven by particular running motivations. A survey study was conducted among 717 runners, of which 57% used an OFC to support running activities. Results demonstrate that OFC users are more achievement-oriented than non-OFC users, especially regarding the attainment of personal goals. OFC users with physical motivations (e.g. weight loss) use self-regulatory features more frequently, while runners with social motivations more often use features that afford them to share activities on social media. Achievement-oriented runners appreciate features that allow them to track their progress and interact with other OFC users. No relation was found between the use of OFC features and psychological motivations for running.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-827
Number of pages13
JournalBehaviour & Information Technology
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Online fitness communities
  • self-determination theory
  • wearables
  • affordances
  • running motivations
  • SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIALS
  • SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY
  • HEALTH BEHAVIOR-CHANGE
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • TRAINING HABITS
  • EXERCISE
  • SPORT
  • PARTICIPATION
  • INTERVENTION

Cite this

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title = "Recreational athletes' running motivations as predictors of their use of online fitness community features",
abstract = "Fitness wearables and apps provide users with quantified information about their exercise behaviour. Users often access this information on online fitness communities (OFCs) such as RunKeeper or Strava. These OFCs do not only provide feedback on the user's performance but also offer social features. To date, little is known about the extent to which the different features in OFCs answer to users' motivations to exercise. This study addresses this question, by examining (1) whether there are differences in motivations for running between OFC users and non-users and (2) whether the use of particular features is driven by particular running motivations. A survey study was conducted among 717 runners, of which 57{\%} used an OFC to support running activities. Results demonstrate that OFC users are more achievement-oriented than non-OFC users, especially regarding the attainment of personal goals. OFC users with physical motivations (e.g. weight loss) use self-regulatory features more frequently, while runners with social motivations more often use features that afford them to share activities on social media. Achievement-oriented runners appreciate features that allow them to track their progress and interact with other OFC users. No relation was found between the use of OFC features and psychological motivations for running.",
keywords = "Online fitness communities, self-determination theory, wearables, affordances, running motivations, SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIALS, SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY, HEALTH BEHAVIOR-CHANGE, PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY, TRAINING HABITS, EXERCISE, SPORT, PARTICIPATION, INTERVENTION",
author = "Jeroen Stragier and {Vanden Abeele}, Mariek and {De Marez}, Lieven",
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Recreational athletes' running motivations as predictors of their use of online fitness community features. / Stragier, Jeroen; Vanden Abeele, Mariek; De Marez, Lieven.

In: Behaviour & Information Technology, Vol. 37, No. 8, 2018, p. 815-827.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - De Marez, Lieven

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AB - Fitness wearables and apps provide users with quantified information about their exercise behaviour. Users often access this information on online fitness communities (OFCs) such as RunKeeper or Strava. These OFCs do not only provide feedback on the user's performance but also offer social features. To date, little is known about the extent to which the different features in OFCs answer to users' motivations to exercise. This study addresses this question, by examining (1) whether there are differences in motivations for running between OFC users and non-users and (2) whether the use of particular features is driven by particular running motivations. A survey study was conducted among 717 runners, of which 57% used an OFC to support running activities. Results demonstrate that OFC users are more achievement-oriented than non-OFC users, especially regarding the attainment of personal goals. OFC users with physical motivations (e.g. weight loss) use self-regulatory features more frequently, while runners with social motivations more often use features that afford them to share activities on social media. Achievement-oriented runners appreciate features that allow them to track their progress and interact with other OFC users. No relation was found between the use of OFC features and psychological motivations for running.

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