Published in

PNG Publications, American Journal of Health Behavior, 4(45), p. 723-734, 2021

DOI: 10.5993/ajhb.45.4.11



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Understanding Motivation for Physical Activity Charity Event Participation

Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Objectives: The positive health benefits of regular physical activity (PA) are widely known, yet PA levels remain low in the general population and those with neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS). The goal of this study was to use the lens of behavioral economics to explore PA motivation for participation in PA-based MS charity fundraising events to elucidate the relationship between behavioral economics constructs and motivation. Methods: Mixed-methods survey data were collected from 114 individuals (47 diagnosed with MS; 67 without MS) who had participated in a PA-based MS charity fundraiser event. Results: Quantitative data showed 23 (41.8%) of participants without MS, and 16 (43.2%) of participants living with MS cited fundraising for MS as the primary reason for participation. Open-ended responses revealed behavioral economic constructs of framing, social support, and individual positive biases were key factors contributing to increased motivation for participation. Conclusion: Habit formation for PA behaviors may emerge due to personal biases (perceived importance of fundraising) and a sense of relatedness. Involvement in MS charity events may alter social norms, frame events as enjoyable, and foster a sense of community, thereby increasing the likelihood of continued participation