The Mediating Role of Fitness Technology Enablement of Psychological Need Satisfaction and Frustration on the Relationship between Goals for Fitness Technology Use and Use Outcomes


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The aim of fitness technologies, a combination of wearables and associated applications, is to support users’ health and fitness regimes. The market for fitness technologies continues to increase, and the technologies themselves are quickly advancing. However, it is unclear how effective fitness technologies are in generating wellness outcomes, and there is concern regarding frequent discontinuance behaviors. Accordingly, we develop a model to explain how the perception that fitness technologies satisfy or frustrate the users’ basic psychological needs (BPNs) in exercise mediates the relationships between the users’ goals for fitness technology use and psychological well-being and continuance. We find that users who start using fitness technologies for enjoyment, challenge, revitalization, affiliation, or to make positive improvements to their health or strength and endurance are more likely to report that the fitness technologies are satisfying their BPNs, whereas users who start using them for stress management, social recognition, competition, or weight management are more likely to report BPNs frustration. Notably, users who start using fitness technologies for enjoyment and to make positive improvements to their health or strength and endurance are less likely to report BPNs frustration, and use driven by social recognition goals can decrease BPNs satisfaction. BPNs satisfaction is associated with both increased psychological well-being and continuance, whereas BPNs frustration is negatively associated with both. Fitness technologies must thus be perceived by users to satisfy their BPNs (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) in exercise to ensure positive outcomes from use.



continuance, fitness technologies, self-determination model of health behavior (SDMHB), self-determination theory (SDT), basic psychological needs (BPNs) theory, causality orientations theory, exercise goals, subjective vitality