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Predictors of Physical Activity Behavior

Stewart G. Trost, PhD
Kansas State University

Meeting Summary
Agenda and Abstracts
Speaker Roster

This presentation will review and update the empirical evidence base related to the factors associated with physical activity behavior in adults. In accordance with the ecological model developed for this workshop, six broad classes of influences will be examined: biological and demographic factors, psychological/cognitive factors, social/cultural factors, organizational, physical environmental factors, and policies/incentives. The influence of sedentary behavior (e.g. sitting time) on physical activity and weight status will also be addressed. The review will sequentially update previous comprehensive reviews by Dishman and Sallis (1994), Sallis and Owen (1999), and Trost et al. (2002). Thus, the findings from over 300 studies published between 1984 and 2004 will be summarized. In keeping with the objectives of the workshop, the presentation will: 1) compare and contrast the findings from longitudinal and cross-sectional studies; 2) discuss important new developments in our current understanding of factors that influence physical activity behavior; 3) highlight the components of the ecological framework that lack empirical data and warrant immediate research attention. Results from the most recent reviews are summarized in the Table below.

Influence
Dishman & Sallis (1994)
Sallis & Owen (1999)
Trost et al. (2002)
Demographic & Biological Factors
Age
--
--
--
Blue-collar occupation
-
-
-
Childless
+
+
+
Education
++
++
++
Gender (male)
++
++
++
Hereditary  
++
++
High risk for heart disease
-
-
-
Income/Socioeconomic status
++
++
++
Injury history
+
+
+
Marital status (married)  
0
-
Overweight/obesity
00
00
--
Race/ethnicity (non-white)
--
--
--
 
Psychological/Cognitive Factors
Attitudes
0
0
00
Barriers to exercise
--
--
--
Control over exercise
0
+
+
Enjoyment of exercise
0
++
++
Expect benefit
+
++
++
Health locus of control  
0
0
Intention to exercise
++
++
++
Knowledge of health and exercise
0
00
00
Lack of time
-
-
--
Mood disturbance
--
--
--
Normative beliefs
0
00
00
Perceived health or fitness
++
++
++
Personality variables  
+
+
Poor body image  
-
-
Psychological health  
+
+
Self-efficacy
++
++
++
Self-motivation
+
++
++
Self-schemata for exercise
+
++
++
Stage of change  
++
++
Stress
0
0
0
Susceptibility to illness
0
00
00
Value of exercise outcomes
0
0
0
  Social and Cultural Factors
Exercise models
0
0
0
Past family influences
0
0
0
Physician influence
+
++
++
Social isolation
-
-
-
Social support from friends/peers
++
++
++
Social support from spouse/family
++
++
++
Social support from staff/instructor      
  Physical Environment Factors
Access to facilities: actual  
+
+
Access to facilities: perceived  
00
+
Adequate lighting    
0
Climate/season
0
--
--
Cost of programs
0
0
0
Disruptions in routine      
Enjoyable scenery    
+
Frequently observe others exercising    
+
Heavy traffic    
0
Home equipment
0
0
+
High crime rates in the region    
0
Hilly terrain    
+
Neighborhood safety    
+
Presence of sidewalks    
0
Satisfaction with facilities    
+
Unattended dogs    
0
Urban location    
-

Legend:
++ = repeatedly documented positive association with physical activity
+ = weak or mixed evidence of positive association with physical activity
00 = repeatedly documented lack of association with physical activity
0 = weak or mixed evidence of no association with physical activity
-- = repeatedly documented negative association with physical activity
- = weak or mixed evidence of negative association with physical activity
Blank spaces indicate no data available

References

  1. Dishman RK, Sallis JF. Determinants and interventions for physical activity and exercise. In Bouchard C, Shephard RJ, Stephens T, (Eds). Physical activity, fitness and health: International proceedings and consensus statement. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, pp. 214-238, 1994.
  2. Sallis JF, Owen N. Physical Activity and Behavioral Medicine. Thousand Oaks, CA Sage Publications, 1999, pp. 110-134.
  3. Trost SG, Owen N, Bauman AE, Sallis JF, Brown W. Correlates of adults participation in physical activity: Review and update. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2002;34:1996-2001.
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