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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 269320, 7 pages
Research Article

Situational Motivation and Perceived Intensity: Their Interaction in Predicting Changes in Positive Affect from Physical Activity

School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, 125 University Private Montpetit Hall, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 8 December 2011; Revised 20 April 2012; Accepted 28 April 2012

Academic Editor: Pedro J. Teixeira

Copyright © 2012 Eva Guérin and Michelle S. Fortier. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is evidence that affective experiences surrounding physical activity can contribute to the proper self-regulation of an active lifestyle. Motivation toward physical activity, as portrayed by self-determination theory, has been linked to positive affect, as has the intensity of physical activity, especially of a preferred nature. The purpose of this experimental study was to examine the interaction between situational motivation and intensity [i.e., ratings of perceived exertion (RPE)] in predicting changes in positive affect following an acute bout of preferred physical activity, namely, running. Fourty-one female runners engaged in a 30-minute self-paced treadmill run in a laboratory context. Situational motivation for running, pre- and post-running positive affect, and RPE were assessed via validated self-report questionnaires. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed a significant interaction effect between RPE and introjection ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ) but not between RPE and identified regulation or intrinsic motivation. At low levels of introjection, the influence of RPE on the change in positive affect was considerable, with higher RPE ratings being associated with greater increases in positive affect. The implications of the findings in light of SDT principles as well as the potential contingencies between the regulations and RPE in predicting positive affect among women are discussed.