The Impact of Facebook on Running Motivation

Cindra Kamphoff, Minnesota State University/The Runner's Edge, USA

Theme: Motivation and self-perceptions

Poster Number: 136

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Running related Facebook pages such as “I <3 to run” and “Run the Edge” have gained in popularity in the last several years. Anecdotal evidence suggests these Facebook pages may impact a runner’s motivation. Although there is research related to Facebook and other important variables such as personality (Ryan & Xenos, 2011), gender differences (Thompson & Lougheed, 2012), and self-esteem (Gentile, Twenge, Freeman & Campbell, 2012), the impact of Facebook on running behavior has not been systematically examined and understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of Facebook on running motivation. Upon IRB approval, 167 runners (54 male, 115 female) were surveyed about their Facebook usage and their motivation. The surveys used include the Facebook Usage Questionnaire (Ross et al., 2009), a modified version of Running Training Behavior (Kamphoff, Bygrave, Stark and Lassonde, 2011), and the Facebook Motivation Questionnaire designed for this study. Results indicated that the large majority of runners said that Facebook was a part of their everyday activity (83.6%) and 23% posted once a week or more frequently. Most runners generally agreed that Facebook does impact their running behavior. More specifically, about 76.2% indicated they strongly agreed or agreed that seeing a friend’s post about a race motivated them. The majority (65.8%) also strongly agreed or agreed that seeing motivational quotes or pictures about running motivated them to run. This snapshot of the results indicates that Facebook appears to impact running motivation. Complete results will be shared as well how this study advances lifelong physical and mental well-being through running will be discussed. In addition, practical applications for certified consultants will be provided such as guidelines that consultants can provide runners to increase their motivation using Facebook.

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