Exercising is good for you. It not only has numerous benefits for our physical health (Bauman, 2004), but also for our mental health (Fox, 1999). Exercising helps us be more productive and it can give a boost to our social lives. Despites all of these benefits, only 53,2% of females in the Netherlands exercise on a weekly basis (CBS, 2015). Motives for exercise vary according to age and gender. This project will focus on young females (aged 16-24). Past research suggests that even though younger females are more likely to start exercising, they are less likely keep exercising and drop out. (James et al., 2008). An explanation for this occurrence could be found in the people’s motives to exercise. Men are commonly more motivated by performance based factors (strength, endurance and competition). Women more often are motivated by losing weight and improving appearance. (Skov-Ettrup et al., 2014). On top of this, Kilpatrick, Hebert, and Bartholomew (2005) found that “Compared to women aged 24, women in all other age groups were more likely to be motivated by getting or staying fit whereas the youngest women were most likely to be motivated by losing weight.” However, physical activity by itself often is not enough to see results, quickly causing demotivation in individuals who are motivated to exercise by appearance based reasons. In addition to this, exercising for appearance-related reasons has been found to cause significantly higher levels of self-objectification. Increased levels of self-objectification has been shown to drastically lower self-esteem (Skov-Ettrup et al., 2014), but also cause lower levels of adherence to exercise (Prichard & Tiggemann, 2005; O’Hara, Cox, & Amorose, 2014). Shifting the focus away from appearance based motives to exercise could help females obtain higher levels of exercise adherence.
Exploresport.nl a service that helps you find a sport you will love by offering you mystery sports tailored to your needs. This is done by connecting gym owners, sports establishments or sports associations with these females, creating a win-win situation for both parties.