A Study Of Physical Activity Using Elements Of The Transtheoretical Model

Por: I. Tsiamita, K. Karteroliotis, K. Noutsos, P. Kontogianni e V. Kalapotharakos.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction
The beneficial effects of regular physical activity on health include the reduction of the risk for cardiovascular disease, non insulin dependent diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer and possibly breast cancer, the prevention of the biological deterioration of aging, and the maintenance of the physical function of the elderly people. [1]. One well-established theoretical approach used to study changes in a variety of health related behaviors, including exercise, is the
Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Prochaska and DiClemente [2]. The aim of this study was the examination of the physical activity behavior of an adult sample using elements of TTM.

Methods
A total sample of 275 adults (60.3% women and 39.7% men), residents of Koridallos, Greece, completed the questionnaire of the study. 125 of them (45.5%) were approached at public gyms where they were exercising and 150 of them (54.5%) were approached in their residents, in shops, and other areas of the town (random sample). The exercise level of the sample was assessed with the weekly metabolic equivalent (METS/week), whereas the TTM components such as stage of change, exercise self-efficacy, and pros and cons of exercise were measured with a questionnaire developed by Marcus and colleagues [3].

Results
Among the people exercising in the gyms, 98.4 % exercised adequately (over 840 METS per week), while the relative percentage of the random sample was 54.1%. The people who exercised in the gyms participated in activities of moderate intensity for an average of 7.3 times per week and in activities of high intensity for an average of 0.5 times per week (7.8 total times per week). The random sample participated in activities of high intensity for 0.85 times per week and of moderate for 3.68 (4.53 total times per week).
Τhe most popular physical activities for the random sample and the exercisers in gyms is presented in Table 1. Also, the classification of the sample into the stages of change of exercise behavior is presented in Table 2.

Conclusions
It appears that residents of Koridallos exercise more than the average population in Greece [4]. Most of the people prefer to perform moderate intensity’s activities, with the most popular ones to be walking, fitness, jogging, and biking.

The elements of the TTM examined in the study acted as the model predicts and it seems the model can be useful to the study of the physical activity behavior of the Greek adults.

References
[1]. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1996). U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
[2]. Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1983). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51, 390-395.
[3]. Marcus, B. H. et al. (1992). Health Psychology, 11, 257-261.
[4]. Margets, et al. (1999). Public Health and Nutrition, (1A), 97-103.

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