Title

Correlates of moderate physical activity in a worksite population

Date of Completion

January 2000

Keywords

Education, Physical|Health Sciences, Public Health

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify correlates of moderate physical activity in a worksite population. Four hundred and ten employees returned a self-reported six-section survey that included demographics, physical activity levels, self-efficacy, social support, perceived benefits and barriers, and environmental issues and their relationship to physical activity. ^ A Principal Component Analysis reduced 13 variables into four components identified as cognitive processes, demographics, environmental influences, and education/job class. Regression factor scores were used as predictors and a logistical regression was performed to examine the characteristics that predicted if an employee was physically active on a moderate basis. A test of the model was statistically reliable, χ2 (4, N = 237) = 18.34, p < .01, and the Hosmer and Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test indicated a good fit between predicted and observed values, χ2 (8, N = 237) = 3.771, p = .877. Overall prediction success was 63%. The Cognitive Processes factor score was the only significant predictor for being physically active on a moderate basis (p < .01). Cognitive Processes also contributed significantly to the prediction of minutes walked in a typical week. The R for the multiple regression was significant (F (4, 332) = 4.441, p < .01) and overall, accounted for 5% of the variance. Cognitive processes consisted of two sub-scales of self-efficacy (“sticking to it” and “taking the time”) and perceived benefits and barriers to physical activity. Of the employees who were moderately active, the three major reasons for physical activity were to receive health benefits, psychosocial influences, and to receive non-health benefits. Additionally, the three main benefits of physical activity were general health benefits, improved cardiovascular health, and psychosocial benefits. The two strategies and/or techniques primarily utilized by these employees for engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity were stair climbing (≥63%), and walking instead of driving short distances (≥52%). ^ This study focused on the correlates of moderate physical activity in a worksite population. Future research is needed that will more effectively quantify moderate physical activity in addition to continuing to refine and develop interventions that are effective in the adoption and maintenance of physical activity. ^