Determinants of Physical Activity in Adolescents and Young Adults: The Basis for High School and College Physical Education to Promote Active Lifestyles. (the Physical Educator)

By Nahas, Markus V.; Goldfine, Bernie et al. | Physical Educator, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

Determinants of Physical Activity in Adolescents and Young Adults: The Basis for High School and College Physical Education to Promote Active Lifestyles. (the Physical Educator)


Nahas, Markus V., Goldfine, Bernie, Collins, Mitchell A., Physical Educator


Abstract

The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of factors that influence physical activity adoption and/or maintenance for high school and college students (ages 15-24) based upon the recent behavioral research literature. Regardless of one's age, adoption and maintenance of physical activity is a complex process, reflective of multiple personal, interpersonal, and environmental variables. A more complete understanding of this topic requires familiarity with behavioral change theory. As a backdrop to the behavioral research concerning physical activity, a variety of behavioral change theories are discussed including classic Learning Theories, the Health Belief Model, Social-Cognitive Theory, the Transtheoretical Model (also referred to as the Stages of Change Model), and a variety of Ecological Models. Regarding the adoption and maintenance of physical activity by high school students, the Youth Physical Activity Model proposed by Welk (1999) provides a clear framework for understanding this behavior and for guiding interventions. In addition to the theoretical underpinnings of physical activity behavior, various determinants of activity are discussed, including demographic and biological factors; psychological, cognitive, and emotional factors; behavioral attributes and skills; social and cultural factors; physical environment factors; and physical activity characteristics. Furthermore, the determinants that promote physical activity (facilitators) and the factors that are perceived as discouraging physical activity (barriers) are explored. A summary of some of the research findings regarding physical activity behavior promotion in school settings through physical education programs is presented. Additionally, strategies for behavior modification aimed at increasing physical activity are delineated.

Introduction

Health promotion is strongly associated with personal lifestyles and involves two main processes: stopping negative (unhealthy) behaviors (such as smoking, alcohol consumption, or sedentary behaviors) and starting positive behaviors (such as regular exercise, good dietary practices, or sunscreen use). Changing behavior, however, is not an easy task. Health-related behavior change involves an array of factors and is a dynamic process with frequent transitions between the several stages that exist from the current status to the expected behavior (for example, the change from a sedentary life to a physically activity one).

Physical activity is widely recognized as an important behavioral characteristic for health promotion and disease prevention (Bouchard & Shephard, 1994; Pate et al., 1995; US Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). A large portion of the population, however, is not active enough to obtain these health benefits, and among those who begin an exercise program, 50% tend to drop out after the first three to six months (Dishman, 1993). Depending on the definition of "sedentary," studies indicate that between 30% and 60% of the adult population in most industrialized countries are considered sedentary during leisure-time (Dishman, 1993). Nearly two-thirds (60%) of U.S. adults report irregular patterns of leisure-time physical activity, while close to one-third (30%) report no leisure-time physical activity at all (US Department of Health and Human Services, 1996).

Despite the abundance of information that demonstrates the role of physical activity in health and quality of life, this information alone has not been sufficient to promote active lifestyles among the majority of the population. In general, people do not exercise just because scientific evidence indicates that they should. Also, it appears that the traditional sports-centered physical education curricula, aggravated by the decreasing time allocated to such programs, are not effective in promoting active lifestyles (Dale & Corbin, 2000). There is clear evidence that physical activity patterns can be changed (Sallis & Owen, 1999), but the best approach for promoting such changes or predicting the extent of those changes is difficult to determine. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Determinants of Physical Activity in Adolescents and Young Adults: The Basis for High School and College Physical Education to Promote Active Lifestyles. (the Physical Educator)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.