Behavioral changes after a 1-yr exercise program and predictors of maintenance

Emmy M Hertogh, Yvonne Vergouwe, A.J. Schuit, Petra H M Peeters, Evelyn M Monninkhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose:

Public health strategies attempt to stimulate participation in physical activity, aiming at permanent behavior change. We assessed the sustained effect of participating in an exercise program on physical activity behavior 1 yr after completion of the program. Furthermore, we aimed to identify factors that predict sustained exercise participation.

Methods:

Previously low-active, postmenopausal women originally participating in an exercise intervention study (the Sex Hormones and Physical Exercise study) were recontacted 1 yr after finishing the study. Their current level of physical activity was assessed by the Modified Baecke Questionnaire. MET-hours per week spent on at least moderate-intensity activities were calculated and used to assess compliance to the international physical activity recommendation. Multivariable linear regression analysis was applied to investigate which factors predict a higher level of physical activity in the intervention group 1 yr after the study.

Results:

Participation in the Sex Hormones and Physical Exercise study resulted in an increased level of physical activity in both the intervention (median at baseline and at 12 months = 4.9 and 19.8 MET x h x wk(-1), respectively) and the control groups (median at baseline and at 12 months = 4.3 and 5.8 MET x h x wk(-1), respectively). Although the intervention group did not maintain the high physical activity level achieved during the study, 1 yr later they remained more active than the control group (median = 12.1 and 7.9 MET x h x wk(-1), respectively, P = 0.04). Age, baseline activity, and employment were the strongest predictors of the physical activity level in the intervention group 1 yr after finishing the study.

Conclusion:

Sustained changes in physical activity behavior in previously low-active postmenopausal women are feasible after participation in a 1-yr exercise program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-892
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Netherlands
  • Postmenopause
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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