This study tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy and psychological well-being are positively related to the adoption of walking by sedentary older women. Older women (n = 218, mean age = 70 years) participating in a minimal intervention weight reduction program were evaluated at baseline using a battery of psychological and physical health measures. Participants were followed for 2 years after program enrolment. Sedentary women who adopted routine walking (n = 26) were compared on baseline variables with sedentary women who had no change in physical activity (n = 41) over 2 years. The Self-Efficacy for Exercise Behaviors Scale, the Psychological General Well-Being Schedule, and a Physical Activity Questionnaire were used. Sedentary women who adopted activity (adopters) had significantly higher self-efficacy for exercise and psychologic well-being at baseline than did women who remained sedentary (nonadopters). Adopters were more likely to be able to stick with the exercise routine and reported more positive general health perceptions and effect. Nonadopters were likely to report feeling depressed and fearful about their health. Secondary analysis showed that adopters lost an average of 8.8 lbs at 2 years postbaseline as compared with no weight change among nonadopters. The results imply that self-efficacy, subjective well-being, perceptions of health, and depressed mood play important roles in the conscious decision to incorporate physical activity into daily routines for older women. These findings may be of interest to clinicians who prescribe physical activity to their older, female patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Women's Health|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1994|
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