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Original articles  SPORT PSYCHOLOGY 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 June;43(2):209-12

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Longitudinal shifts in exercise stages of change in college students

Wallace L. S. 1, Buckworth J. 2

1 Department of Family Medicine, The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN, USA 2 Sport and Exercise Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA


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Aim. The protective health benefits of regular physical activity are well established. To date, few studies have assessed the prevalence of exercise behavior and factors influencing exercise adoption and maintenance among college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of exercise self-efficacy, social support, and sedentary behavior and longitudinal shifts in stage of exercise behavior change among a sample of college students without intervention.
Methods. A cross-sectional design was used to examine demographic characteristics, stage of exercise behavior change, exercise self-efficacy, social support (family and friend) and sedentary behavior. One hundred and sixty-one students at a large Midwestern university completed a valid and reliable written mailed questionnaire during baseline assessment and again 6 months later (follow-up).
Results. Changes in exercise self-efficacy, social support, and sedentary behavior were not observed among students who maintained their stage of exercise behavior change from baseline to follow-up. Exercise relapsers experienced significant decreases in exercise self-efficacy and peer social support from baseline to follow-up.
Conclusion. These findings have important implications for further research on exercise adoption and maintenance among college students. From an applied perspective, it would be valuable for the practitioner to understand that different predictors are likely to influence exercise adoption and relapse.

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