Social networking and physical activity levels among young adults
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This study examined how posting daily pictures of physical activity (PA) to social networking sites (SNS), influenced young adults PA levels and motivational profiles. Participants (N = 58) were 18-22 years of age. The 2-week intervention consisted of group A (SN group) uploading pictures of themselves working out on their Instagram account, while group B (Non-SN group) did not upload pictures. Both groups kept a daily PA log, and tracked steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled using an OMRON Walking Style Pedometer. The Exercise Regulation Questionnaire (BREQ-2), was distributed on days 4, 7, and 10 to determine if posting to SNS influences intrinsic motivation (IM). Results indicated a significant difference within and between group intervention t(50) = -3.044, p = 0.004, indicating a greater increase in PA for the SN group, than the non-SN group. Findings also indicated that IM was the most significant predictor of PA while focusing on young adults’ psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness support. In conclusion, posting PA pictures to SNS can increase PA levels, as well as moving young adults’ motivational profiles along the continuum towards being more IM to engage in PA.