Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 5, Issue 1, 2013

Article 1
Motives for Exercise Participation in Urban Communities in Jamaica

Carron D. Gordon
Sharmella Roopchand-Martin
The University of the West Indies, Mona – Section of Physical Therapy

Ramon Hunter
The University Hospital of the West Indies, Mona


The purposes of the current study were to determine the motives and behavioural regulations for exercise participation in Jamaican adults, and to uncover any differences based on age and gender. One hundred and twenty-nine persons (N = 129), who were exercising at two gyms and a community park in the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew participated. Two questionnaires were self-administered: The Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ) and The Exercise Motivation Inventory (EMI-2). The three top reasons for exercising were positive health (M = 4.4, SD = 0.7), ill health avoidance (M = 4.1, SD = 1.1) and strength and endurance (M = 4.0, SD = 0.9). Men had significantly higher mean scores than women for strength and endurance (M = 4.28, SD = 0.71 vs. M = 3.86, SD = 0.96), competition (M = 2.12, SD = 1.60 vs. M = 1.13, SD = 1.21), social recognition (M = 1.78, SD = 1.55 vs. M = 0.73, SD = 1.05) and challenge (M = 2.84, SD = 1.41 vs. M = 2.15, SD = 1.33) respectively. Scores on all domains of the BREQ were similar for men and women. Age was moderately and positively related to ill-health avoidance (r = 0.388, p < .05). The results of the study suggest that the reasons for engaging in regular exercise vary across gender and with age. Programme developers should note that a variety of content may be necessary to promote exercise to appeal to different demographics.