Objectives: This study examined Malaysian adolescents’ profiles of exercise motivation, exercise habit strength, academic performance, and levels of physical activity (PA) using cluster analysis.
Methods: The sample (n = 300) consisted of 65.6% males and 34.4% females with a mean age of 13.40 ± 0.49. Statistical analysis was performed using cluster analysis.
Results: Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cluster groups. Cluster 1 is characterized by a moderate level of PA, relatively high in motivational indices and relative autonomy index (RAI), low in exercise habit, and moderate level of academic achievement. Cluster 2 has superior academic performance but is low in PA and all other measured variables. Cluster 3 is characterized by high levels of PA and all other variables but is lowest in academic performance. One way ANOVA revealed significant differences between cluster groups in total weekly MET, total minutes of weekly PA, academic performance, introjected regulation, and identified regulation.
Conclusion: PA promotion with emphasis on external factors may be effective in instilling exercise habituation among adolescents in the present sample.