Investigating Physical Activity and Exercise Motivation in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Mei-Ling Wu, MSN
Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan City, Taiwan
Jen-Chen Tsai, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, Taiwan

Purpose:  Physical inactivity lifestyles are common among systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) populations. The purpose of this study was to investigate SLE women’s level of physical activity and the type of motivation that is related to the amount of physical activity in order to design effective ways to improve physical activity.

Methods:  This cross-sectional correlational study collected data from a medical center in Taiwan from August 2015 and July 2016. The study comprised 124 women with SLE who did not have physical limitations or psychiatric disorders, or other diseases that would prevent physical activity. All participants wore a pedometer for 7 days to monitor the level of physical activity and completed the demographic inventory and the modified Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2). Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation were used to identify the levels of physical activity and the relationships between demographic variables, motivation and physical activity. Multiple regression analyses were further used to find predictive variables of physical activity.

Results:  On average, the mean age and disease duration of participants was 43.5±11.0 and 11.1±7.7 years. The demographic data showed that 83 (67%) had a job, 87 (70%) were married, and 59 (48%) had a university or graduate education. Pedometer-determined physical activity classified by zone approach revealed that 47 (37.9%) were sedentary (<5000 steps/day), 46 (37.1%) were low active (5000-7499 steps/day), 21(16.9%) were somewhat active (7500-9999 steps/day), 7 (5.6%) were active (≥10,000-12,499 steps/day) and 3 (2%) were highly active (≥12,500 steps/day). Identified regulation and intrinsic regulation were significant correlate to both daily step ( r=0.25 ; r=0.3, respectively) and moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) (r=0.29; r=0.26, respectively). None of demographic variables was correlated with exercise motivation and physical activity. Daily steps were only predicted by intrinsic regulation which explained 9% of the total variance. Moreover, MVPA was predicted by identified regulation which explained 8% of the total variance.

Conclusion:  Results offered a feature of SLE population’s low physical activity. To promote active life styles, exercise counseling could focus on how to elicit SLE women’s intrinsic motivation and emphasize benefits of exercise to health.