This study investigated the hypothesis that purposeful activity is an intrinsic motivator. We hypothesized that subjects would take longer to perceive themselves to be working hard and would have a higher heart rate increase when working on a product-oriented activity than when working on a non-product-oriented activity. Fifteen subjects sanded a cutting board that they could keep and a piece of wood that they could not keep until they reached a rating of 15( hard) on the Borg Rating Scale of Perceived Exertion. No significant differences were found in the subjects’ heart rate increase or in the time it took subjects to perceive themselves as working hard. Subjects reported significantly more enjoyment in sanding the cutting board than in sanding the wood, and significance increased further upon completion of the sanding board. Ex post facto, when subjects were categorized into three groups depending upon the degree of liking for each activity, it appeared that the degree of liking may be important in predicting exercise effort. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.

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