Physical activity patterns in a diverse population of women

Author(s): Sternfeld B, Ainsworth BE, Quesenberry CP


Background:Demographic and psychosocial correlates of activity in domains other than recreational activity have not been well characterized and may be particularly relevant for health promotion efforts aimed at women.

Methods:Cross-sectional relationships between recreational, occupational, and household/caregiving physical activity and demographic and psychosocial factors were assessed with a mail survey in a random sample of 2,636 ethnically diverse women members of a large health maintenance organization, ages 20-65. Activity was assessed with a modified Baecke questionnaire that uses categorical responses regarding frequency of domain-specific activities to create four semicontinuous activity indices (sports/exercise, active living, occupational, household/caregiving).

Results:Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that the likelihood of being in the highest quartile of the sports/exercise and active-living indices, compared with the other three quartiles, was decreased among older, nonwhite, less well educated, heavier women who had young children at home, lacked motivation to exercise, and perceived external obstacles to exercise behavior. The odds ratios (ORs) ranged from 0.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33-0.45, associated with low motivation, to 0.95, 95% CI 0.93-0.98, associated with increasing body mass index. Social support and confidence in one's ability to continue to exercise, even when faced with other pressures and demands (termed self-efficacy), were associated with increased likelihood of high levels of sports/exercise and active living (OR = 2.34, 95% CI 1. 83-2.98 and OR = 3.96, 95% CI 2.92-5.38, respectively). In contrast, the highest quartile of household/caregiving activity was positively associated with increasing age (OR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.16-1.42), Hispanic ethnicity (OR = 1.58, 95% CI 0.55-1.01), being married (OR = 1.70, 95% CI 1.33-2.18), having young children at home (OR = 6.99, 95% CI 4.33-11), and greater time constraints as a barrier to exercise (OR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.38-1.74) and was negatively associated with employment (OR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.30-0.47). Increased likelihood of the highest quartile of occupational activity was associated with high school education or less (OR = 2.26, 95% CI 1.74-2.94) and current smoking (OR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.23-2.23), while self-efficacy regarding exercise was associated with decreased likelihood (OR = 0. 77, 95% CI 0.61-0.96).

Conclusions:These findings suggest that demographic and psychosocial correlates of physical activity vary by domain and that initiatives to promote physical activity in the population need to take these differences into account.

Similar Articles

Prediction of adherence and control in diabetes

Author(s): Kavanagh DJ, Gooley S, Wilson PH

Correlates of adults' participation in physical activity: review and update

Author(s): Trost SG, Owen N, Bauman AE, Sallis JF, Brown W

The Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale in people with arthritis

Author(s): Barlow JH, Williams B, Wright C

Self-efficacy predicting outcome among fibromyalgia subjects

Author(s): Buckelew SP, Huyser B, Hewett JE, Parker JC, Johnson JC, et al.

Physical activity and multiple sclerosis: a meta-analysis

Author(s): Motl RW, McAuley E, Snook EM

Uhthoff and his symptom

Author(s): Selhorst JB, Saul RF

Resistance training improves strength and functional capacity in persons with multiple sclerosis

Author(s): White LJ, McCoy SC, Castellano V, Gutierrez G, Stevens JE, et al.

A review about the impact of multiple sclerosis on health-related quality of life

Author(s): Benito-León J, Morales JM, Rivera-Navarro J, Mitchell A

Exploring differences between subgroups of multiple sclerosis patients in health-related quality of life

Author(s): Pfennings L, Cohen L, Adèr H, Polman C, Lankhorst G, et al.

Randomized controlled trial of yoga and exercise in multiple sclerosis

Author(s): Oken BS, Kishiyama S, Zajdel D, Bourdette D, Carlsen J, et al.

Diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: 2010 revisions to the McDonald criteria

Author(s): Polman CH, Reingold SC, Banwell B, Clanet M, Cohen JA, et al.

The Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29): a new patient-based outcome measure

Author(s): Hobart J, Lamping D, Fitzpatrick R, Riazi A, Thompson A

Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29): reliability and validity in hospital based samples

Author(s): Riazi A, Hobart JC, Lamping DL, Fitzpatrick R, Thompson AJ

Resistance training improves gait kinematics in persons with multiple sclerosis

Author(s): Gutierrez GM, Chow JW, Tillman MD, McCoy SC, Castellano V, et al.