Influence of COVID-19 Crisis on Motivation and Hiking Intention of Gen Z in China: Perceived Risk and Coping Appraisal as Moderators

Yunfan Wu, Keita Kinoshita, Yi Zhang, Rena Kagami, Shintaro Sato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


People’s lives have drastically changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. One concern during the pandemic has been the level of inactivity among people. Compared to various generations (e.g., baby boomers, generation alpha), Generation Z (Gen Z) traditionally spends much less time in outdoor spaces. Due to the pandemic, their inactiveness is assumed to be even more severe. Hiking, an outdoor activity, has become a possible remedy for young people to exercise in a safer sport environment compared to traditional facility-based activities. Although various studies have supported the link between motivations and hiking intention, the relationship may be altered based on psychological influences unique to the pandemic situations—perceived risk and coping appraisals. The current study was conducted to investigate the relationship between Gen Z’s motivations and hiking intention and moderating roles of perceived risk and coping appraisals in a pandemic environment. Data were collected from Gen Z between 18 and 24 in China (N = 407). The validity and reliability of all the constructs were assessed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), average variance extracted (AVE), and composite reliability. For testing hypotheses, PROCESS Macro 4.0 was used. The findings proposed that the appraisals of the pandemic situation (i.e., perceived risk and coping ability) moderated the relationship between two of the motivations—intellectual and destination motivations—and hiking intention. As a result, organizers of outdoor sports programs can implement viable strategies and take valid measurements to minimize the fear and worries among people in the time of the crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4612
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 1


  • COVID-19
  • Generation Z
  • coping appraisal
  • hiking
  • leisure sport
  • perceived risk
  • push–pull motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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