Motives and motivating leaders in aerobics classes: exercise motivation and instructors' leadership characteristics

Aave Hannus, Margit Laev


The aim of this study was to investigate the motives of aerobics participants in relation to their perceived and preferred leadership behavior of aerobic instructors.
Eighty seven aerobics participants (aged between 16–59 y) completed the cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Instruments assessed participantsʼ exercise motivation, and perceived and preferred leadership behaviour of their aerobic instructors.
We found that in aerobics participants the appearance- and healthrelated dimensions of exercise motivation are higher ranked than flexibility and social motives. Although aerobics participants show relatively high levels of competitive and social motives compared with general population, the highest ranked incentive for them seems to be physical fitness. Aerobics participants perceive significantly less instructorsʼ democratic decision making, instruction, social support and positive feedback than they prefer, while they perceive significantly higher amount of autocratic decision making compared with their preference.


motivation for participation in aerobics; leadership behavior

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ISSN 1406-9822 (print)
ISSN 2228-3501 (online)
Journal DOI: