Background: Long-term involvement and adherence to physical activity are conditioned by motivation. Objectives: To analyze nursing students' motivation to engage in physical activity and to identify the sociodemographic and academic variables that interfere with the practice of physical activity. Methodology: This is a descriptive and analytical study involving 372 nursing students. A sociodemographic characterization questionnaire, the Exercise Motivations Inventory (EMI-2), and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) were administered. Results: The students' most frequent motives for physical activity were physical fitness, health, and body-related motives. Male students (MR = 227.67) and 2nd and 3rd-year students had the highest physical activity levels. This study also observed that the older the students, the lower the physical activity levels.
Conclusion:The psychological motives are directly related to physical activity, whereas health motives are inversely related to physical activity, which suggests that higher psychological motivation and better levels of health lead to higher levels of physical activity.