Objective: We aimed to improve our understanding of the factors that influence exercise beliefs because this knowledge could help explain low levels of exercise and aid the design of more effective interventions. Thus, the purpose of this study is to identify: (1) the perceived exercise benefits, barriers, and efficacy in community dwelling adults over 55 years of age; (2) to examine the relationship between lifelong physical activity and the perceived benefits, barriers, and efficacy of exercise; and (3) to explore the best predictors of perceived exercise benefits, barriers and self-efficacy.
Method: A cross sectional prospective study enrolled a total of 86 Taiwanese aged 55 and older. Multiple regressions were utilized to determine predictors of exercise benefits/barriers and self efficacy when considering demographic, and lifelong physical activity. Outcome variables were measured by the Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale and the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale.
Results: Findings revealed that lifelong physical activity, living arrangements, and gender significantly predicted exercise self-efficacy (R2=26.2). Further, lifelong physical activity was the only significant contributor to perceived exercise benefits and barriers (R2 = 13.2).
Discussion: This study is novel in that we found that lifelong physical activity is an important predictor influencing benefits, barriers and self-efficacy of exercise. Living arrangement and gender were also found to be significant contributors to self-efficacy. Health professionals need to assess lifelong physical activity among community-dwelling adults in an effort to improve exercise participation.
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