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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2014 Jun;85(2):208-17.

Motivational climate, staff and members' behaviors, and members' psychological well-being at a national fitness franchise.



The purpose of this study was to examine the association between members' perceptions of staffs behaviors, motivational climate, their own behaviors, commitment to future exercise, and life satisfaction in a group-fitness setting. The theory-driven hypothesized mediating role of perceptions of the climate was also tested.


Members (N = 5,541) of a national group-fitness studio franchise completed a survey regarding their class experiences. The survey included questions that measured participants' perceptions of the motivational climate (caring, task-involving, ego-involving), perceptions of staff's behaviors, their own behaviors, commitment to exercise, and life satisfaction. Structural equation modeling was used to assess both the association between variables and the theoretically driven predictive relationships.


The participants perceived the environment as highly caring and task-involving and low ego-involving. They reported high exercise commitment and moderately high life satisfaction and perceived that the staffs and their own behaviors reflected caring, task-involving characteristics. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that those who perceived a higher caring, task-involving climate and lower ego-involving climate were more likely to report more task-involving, caring behaviors among the staff and themselves as well as greater commitment to exercise. In addition, a theory-driven mediational model suggested that staff behaviors may be an antecedent to members' exercise experiences by impacting their perceptions of the climate.


The results of this study give direction to specific behaviors in which staff of group-fitness programs might engage to positively influence members' exercise experiences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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