Assessing the Effects of Presence and Sense of Place on Exercise Enjoyment in a Virtual Environment
The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between presence and sense of place, and exercise enjoyment, in virtual environments. Interactive fitness equipment users were asked to complete an online survey comprising items from established measures of motivation, personality, exercise enjoyment, and the media phenomena transportation and sense of place. Hierarchical regression analysis was employed to assess whether transportation or sense of place explained more of the variance in virtual exercise enjoyment, when controlling for demographics, exercise enjoyment and habits, motivation, and personality. When controlling for the other variables, the two media phenomena significantly increased the amount of variance in virtual exercise enjoyment explained. However, only sense of place was a significant, positive predictor of virtual exercise enjoyment. The results of this study suggest interactive fitness devices that allow users to experience a sense of place in virtual environments can facilitate a more enjoyable exercise experience, and as such can be a promising intervention tool to encourage behavior change.
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