Self-Regulatory Strategies to Overcome Boredom in the Gym: Development and Validation of the Interest-Enhancing Strategies for Exercise Questionnaire (IESEQ)

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Colleges, School and Institutes


When activities are not inherently interesting but important to perform (e.g., exercise), Sansone, Weir, Harpster, and Morgan (1992) suggest that individuals will engage in strategies to raise their interest as a means to self-regulating their motivation. Based on Green Demers, Pelletier, Stewart, and Gushue’s (1998) study with figure skaters, the interest-enhancing strategies used by exercisers were investigated in the present research through the development of a valid and reliable 12 item questionnaire. In Study 1 (n = 367; M age = 23.34, SD = 8.26; 219 females, 147 males), a principal component analysis with direct oblimin rotation indicated the existence of 4 factors (music, dissociation, rationale, and variety) that explained 56.57% of the variance in the data. In Study 2, structural equation modelling confirmed the 4 factors across two samples (Sample 1: N = 343; M age = 31.02, SD = 12.31; 157 females, 182 males; Sample 2: N = 343; M age = 30.48, SD = 12.30; 153 females, 187 males). The internal reliabilities for these factors were also found to be good (alpha = .73 to .91). Combining both samples for Study 3, a repeated measures ANOVA showed that exercisers reported using rationale significantly more than the other interest-enhancing strategies. A MANOVA followed by univariate tests indicated that females reported greater use of dissociation and music than males (all p < .001). Finally, partial correlations controlling for gender revealed relationships between the interest-enhancing strategies and other exercise-related variables (self-reported exercise behaviour, perceived behavioural control, interest/enjoyment, feeling states, and exercise self-efficacy). Rationale and variety displayed a uniformly adaptive pattern, dissociation displayed a uniformly maladaptive pattern, and music displayed a mixed pattern. These results point to the potential usefulness of the Interest-Enhancing Strategies for Exercise Questionnaire (IESEQ) for examining different ways exercisers overcome boredom and increase interest in their gym activities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2010