Improving physical activity adherence :the effects of self-control strategies, telephone prompting using lifestyle physical activity
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Increasing individual's physical activity in our country is a primary health promotion and disease prevention concern. Yet, much of the population remains sedentary and thus, at increased risk for several diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease and hyperlipidemia. Unfortunately, programs promoting physical activity have had limited success in increasing activity and even less success in maintaining a program over time.
The "Exercise for Everyone" program was designed to assess the effectiveness of behavior change strategies developed for maintenance on physical activity using individuals recruited through a community setting. Any type of moderate physical activity (e.g., vacuuming, gardening, walking, swimming etc.) was considered appropriate and encouraged. The researcher used the following behavior change strategies: telephone prompting, and self-control strategies: self-monitoring, participant set goals, self-reinforcement, self feedback and problem-solving strategies. In this study, frequency of contact was varied from no contact, to once per every week, to once per every third week over 16 weeks and faded in the last four weeks. All participants were asked to self-monitor their physical activity, and all participants received either an information only class or a self-control strategies class. Survival analysis using five months of data points and using the criteria of first week of activity missed equaled "death" indicated an effect of greater adherence for individuals participating in a strategies class versus an infOlmation only class (46% vs. 14%), but not for the effect of frequency of contact (no contact, 33%; low contact, 31 %; high contact, 30% ) over all 18 weeks of the program. The results suggest the efficacy of a low cost class promoting self-control strategies for behavior change for adherence to an activity program and potentially for other health related behaviors.
- Doctoral Dissertations