South African Generation Y students' motives for engaging in physical activity : physical activity and health
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The purpose of this study was to determine Generation Y students' level of physical activity and the motivation for participating in physical activity. Despite there being a great deal of published literature that provides evidence of the benefits of engaging in physical activity and its influence on reducing certain dreaded illnesses, physical activity amongst the Generation Y cohort (individuals born between 1986 and 2005) is declining worldwide. In South Africa, the Generation Y cohort constituted 38 percent of the country's population in 2013. Given the significant size of this cohort, their physical and mental wellbeing has important economic implications, not only for the country's health care system but also its current and future labour market. Given that participation in physical activity has proven health benefits, it is imperative that members of the significantly sized South Africa's Generation Y cohort be encouraged to engage in physical activity. However, designing social marketing campaigns to arouse members of this cohort's motives to engage in physical activity necessitates first understanding their motivation to participate in physical activity. The study, using a questionnaire designed to measure Generation Y students' motives for participating in physical activity, was carried out on a convenience sample of 450 students across three South African public higher education institutions' campuses located in the Gauteng province. Data analysis was conducted using one-tailed one-sample t-tests and Pearson's product-moment correlation analysis. The findings suggest that Generation Y students engage in light, moderate and vigorous levels of exercise and are highly motivated to engage in physical exercise.