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Sports participation in sport clubs, gyms or public spaces: How users of different sports settings differ in their motivations, goals, and sports frequency

Deelen, I.; Ettema, D.; Kamphuis, C.B.M.

Plos one 13(10): E0205198

2018


ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203
PMID: 30296286
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205198
Accession: 065922991

To develop targeted policy strategies to increase sports participation, more insight is needed into the behavioural patterns and preferences of users of different club-organized (i.e., sports clubs) and non-club organized (i.e., gyms, health centres or swimming pools) or informal sports settings such as public spaces. This study investigates 1) how users of different settings differ regarding self-determined motivations and goals, and sociodemographic and sports-related characteristics, and 2) how the association of motivations and goals with sports participation may differ between users of different sports settings. Data were collected through online surveys among Dutch adults aged 18-80 years (N = 910). Ordinal regression analyses were used to investigate the effects of sports settings, the level of self-determined motivations and goals, and interaction effects of motivations and goals with different sports settings, on sports frequency. Users of different sports settings differed in their personal characteristics, motivations and goals. In general, controlled motivations were negatively associated with sports frequency (B = -0.46). However, among club members, extrinsic goals related to image (B = 0.44), as well as intrinsic goals related to skill development (B = 0.40) and social affiliation (B = 0.47) had significant positive associations with sports frequency. Health-related goals significantly increased sports frequency among users of informal settings, such as public spaces. The association of motivational variables with sports participation differs between settings. This implies that sports frequency is higher when participants engage in settings that better fit their motivations and goals. Because of the growing importance of informal and flexible settings and health goals, professionals in the sports and health domains should take into account the motivations, goals and needs of different target groups who (want to) use unorganized, informal sports settings including public spaces.

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