Term of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel Czech

Committee Member 1

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 2

Trey Burdette

Committee Member 3

Trey Burdette


Individuals who choose to live a healthy lifestyle often have different preferences for a variety of exercise activities, exercise settings and eating plans. In fact, numerous researchers have examined the preferences of individuals in diet and exercise programs from past generations (Daley, Copeland, Wright, & Wales, 2008; Ekkekakis, Hall, & Petruzzello, 2005). Numerous research studies have examined the correlation between exercise adherence and exercise enjoyment (Bartlett, Close, Maclaren, Gregson, Drust, & Morton, 2011; Ebben & Brudzynski, 2008; Fleig, Lippke, Pomp, & Schwarzer, 2011; Frederick-Recascino, 2002; Leslie, Owen, Salmon, Bauman, Sallis, & Lo, 1999). However, little research has been found investigating the optimal exercise experience of the current college aged generation. The first purpose was to compare obese and nonobese members as well as sufficiently and insufficiently active members of Generation Y on Enjoyment Based Motivation (EBM) to exercise. Results suggest that there is not a significant difference between obese and non-obese members of Generation Y on EBM. EBM was found to be significantly higher active members of Generation Y when compared to insufficiently active members. The second purpose was to describe what the enjoyable exercise experience of the millennial generation is through an existential phenomenological approach. The second purpose revealed five themes: vigor, social relatedness, accomplishment, dissociation, and positive emotions. Implications from this study may benefit exercise psychology consultants, fitness professionals, and others involved in the exercise experience of members of Generation Y. Further research may explore how these results influence exercise adherence and possible interventions for fostering the development of the themes discussed in exercise experiences.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


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