Illness, Death Related Messages Motivators For Exercise

Majority of the people are quite familiar with numerous aaps and almost all of them widely use health and fitness aaps. Well, a new study shows that fitness and health apps that emphasis illness or death related messaging are more likely to be effective in motivating participation to exercise than are social stigma, obesity or financial cost messaging.

In the study, the researchers analysed 669 participants. They looked at how persuasive these types of messages were in terms of motivating them to work out at home with a fitness app, to uncover their effectiveness, connection with social-cognitive beliefs such as self-regulation (goal setting), self-efficacy and outcome expectation, and seeing what role male/female gender played.


Kiemute Oyibo (postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health Sciences) said that illness- and death-related messages was not only a motivation but also had a significant relationship with self regulatory belief and outcome expectation. The researcher said that they did not come across any significant difference between males and females.

Oyibo said that the study had its relevance as it helped to understand the types of messages that individuals, regardless of gender, are likely to be motivated by in persuasive health communication, and that are likely to influence individuals’ social-cognitive beliefs about exercise. Oyibo said future studies should consider other demographic characteristics besides gender, such as age, culture, race and education, to uncover the role they play in persuasive health communication.

The study, “The Relationship between Perceived Health Message Motivation and Social Cognitive Beliefs in Persuasive Health Communication”, was published in MDPI.


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