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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2017 July-August;176(7-8):381-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.17.03401-5


language: English

Psychological and demographic description of YMCA members using Activtrax®

Yanqiu WANG 1 , Kayla SMITHERMAN 2, Daniel FAZZINO 2, Emily CORNELIUS 2, Kelley STROHACKER 2

1 Faculty of Physical Education, China West Normal University, Nanchong, China; 2 Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA


BACKGROUND: ActivTrax® is a platform (accessible via computer, kiosk, smartphone) that tracks and prescribes resistance exercise. The current study aims to determine potentially relevant demographic and psychological differences between ActivTrax® users and non-users.
METHODS: Individuals were recruited from local YMCA branches in east Tennessee to complete a questionnaire packet. This packet contained a basic demographic survey (age, race, education) and four validated surveys designed to assess the following psychological traits: exercise motivation, exercise enjoyment, causality orientation, and preference for / tolerance of exercise intensity. Cross-sectional data were analyzed using independent t-tests.
RESULTS: Participants (N.=204) were 45±19 years of age and the majority of the sample (65%) was comprised of women. Sixty individuals identified as ActivTrax® users. In the total sample, significant differences were noted for Body Mass Index (BMI; users =29.89 kg/m2, non-users =27.85 kg/m2, t=-2.18, P=0.011), control causality orientation (users = 30.83, non-users=27.62, t=-2.91, P=0.004), and impersonal causality orientation (users=21.33, non-users=19.46, t=-2.05, P=0.040). Subsequent analysis indicated that these results were observed between female ActivTrax® users (N.=42) and non-users (N.=90), but not in male participants.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to female non-users, female ActivTrax® users had a higher BMI and exhibited more controlled exercise causality orientations (i.e. greater proclivity for “being told what to do”). Future longitudinal research is necessary to determine causal relationships between ActivTrax® use and psychological traits.

KEY WORDS: Technology - Psychology - Resistance training - Women

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