Socio-demographic, medical and social-cognitive correlates of physical activity behavior among older adults (45-70 years): a cross-sectional study

I. Mesters, S. Wahl, H.M. van Keulen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Present study aimed to identify socio-demographic, medical and social-cognitive correlates of physical activity among Dutch older individuals. Methods: A systematic random sample of 2,568 Dutch participants aged 45-70 years filled out the validated modified Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) questionnaire on physical activity. Socio-demographic and social-cognitive correlates were measured with validated instruments; medical correlates were checked by a general practitioner. The study had a cross-sectional design and the data collection ran from March 2005 until August 2006. Linear regression analyses were conducted to identify correlates of PA. We separated the findings for men from those for women to explore potential gender-specific associations. Results: Being female, living in North Limburg or North-Brabant, having a higher educational level, a higher perceived behavioral control, more knowledge about PA advantages, a stronger habitual PA behavior, having more action plans and a stronger intention to engage in PA were significantly associated with higher PA levels. Being older, being a smoker, having a higher body mass index (BMI), having a paid job, observing others being physically active and overestimating one's PA level were associated with being less physically active. Socio-demographic and medical correlates significantly explained 20% of the variance of PA behavior while social-cognitive correlates as attitude explained an additional 4% and intention together with actual control explained another 1% of the variance of PA behavior. Conclusion: There may be stable individual differences that influence PA in view of the fact that several socio-demographic and medical factors were not completely mediated by the socio-cognitive factors. The current study may help to focus PA interventions for individuals aged 45-70 years on influential socio-demographic, medical and social-cognitive correlates. Physical activity was significantly associated with age, gender, education, BMI, work situation, region of residence, smoking, awareness, advantages, descriptive norm, perceived behavioral control, habit, action plans and intention.
Original languageEnglish
Article number647
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Prevention
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Intervention
  • Public health
  • TAILORED PRINT COMMUNICATION
  • OF-SPORTS-MEDICINE
  • PLANNED BEHAVIOR
  • HEALTH BEHAVIORS
  • LEISURE-TIME
  • ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE
  • COMMUNITY SAMPLE
  • PUBLIC-HEALTH
  • DETERMINANTS
  • EXERCISE

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