Ian C. Macali1, Megan E. Holmes1, Matthew Symonds2. 1Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS. 2Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO.

BACKGROUND: Human Personality traits have been shown to influence engagement in recreational exercise (RE). With some personality traits shown to be expressed in higher levels in populations engaging in RE, it is important to understand if personality has any influence on motivation to exercise. METHODS: Twenty-nine recreationally active university students (18 female, 6 males, 5 no response; aged 23 ± 1.98) at a Midwest fitness center completed inventories assessing personality traits and exercise motivation. Personality traits were determined using the Big Five Personality Test (IPIP) and the Exercise Motivation Inventory 2 (EMI2) for exercise motivation. IPIP assesses five traits: Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness, Neuroticism, and Extraversion. EMI2 assesses factors of motivation for exercise (Affiliation, Social Recognition, Enjoyment, etc.). Pearson correlations were used to examine relationships between personality traits and exercise motivation. RESULTS: Few significant correlations were observed between assessments. Higher Agreeableness was significantly correlated with Ill Health Avoidance (r=0.55, p≥0.05) and Social Recognition (r=0.41, p≥0.05). Greater Conscientiousness and Neuroticism was correlated with increased Affiliation motivation (r=0.415 and r=0.518, respectively, p≥0.05) CONCLUSIONS: Most personality factors were not significantly associated with exercise motivation. The association between Agreeableness and Ill-Health Avoidance could indicate a desire to comply with positive health standards. Given that Neuroticism is commonly associated with negative emotion and people who are high in trait neuroticism exhibit more anxiety, depression, and self-doubt, the correlation with Affiliation may indicate desire to be around others to mitigate negative emotion. Additional research is needed in a much larger sample to better elucidate the links between personality and motivation to exercise; however, some personality factors may influence motivation to exercise.

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