Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Yuanlong Liu

Second Advisor

Dr. Brooks Applegate

Third Advisor

Dr. Colin Cork


COVID-19, online fitness program, theory of planned behavior, fitness participation, structural equation modeling, Amazon MTurk


The purpose of this study was to examine fitness participants’ online fitness program (OFP) participation intention and behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study utilized self-administered online survey which included three parts: Theory of Planed Behavior (TPB) measurement scale and Global Physical Activity Questionnaire version 2.0 (GPAQ-v2.0) plus demographic information. TPB was used to examine OFP participation behavior with four variables: Attitude toward the behavior (AB), subjective norm (SN), perceived behavioral control (PBC), and participation intention (PI). Role identity (RI) and past behavior (PB) were included as additional variables in the original TPB model. Fitness participants’ OFP participation behavior before the COVID-19 pandemic was regarded as PB while their OFP participation behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic was defined as current behavior (CB). Part of the GPAQ-v2.0 question items were utilized to measure PB and CB in terms of OFP participation level. Whether an OFP participant’s participation level is below or above the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation was determined based on the GPAQ-v2.0 Analysis Guide. Demographic information, such as sex, age, race and income level, were collected to understand the characteristics of the study sample. The users of OFP served as research participants. The Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) platform was employed for data collection. The research survey was designed in Qualtrics and was distributed using the MTurk platform. The data were analyzed in statistical software RStudio-1.4.1106. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis was conducted to examine the structural relationships between AB, SN, PBC, RI, and PB with PI and CB. The results showed that AB, PBC, and RI were significant predictors of PI, not SN and PB; PI was a significant predictor of CB, not PBC; and PI did not have mediation effect on PBC toward CB. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. The limitations of this study and suggestions for future research are also provided.

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