Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Physical Activity with Regard to Socio-Demographic Variables and Decisional Balance Perceptions for Exercise among University Students

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Physical Activity with Regard to Socio-Demographic Variables and Decisional Balance Perceptions for Exercise among University Students

Article excerpt

Introduction

It has been emphasized in several studies that the benefits of regular PA on physical, mental and social health (Kirby, Levin, & Inchley, 2011) as well as on prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer can not be disregarded (Buckworth & Nigg, 2004; CDC, 2015; Uijdewilligen et al., 2014; WHO, 2015a). In 2009, it was explained that physical inactivity was the fourth highest risk factor for non-communicable diseases (Hallal et al., 2012; Pahkala et al., 2013). Despite the widespread information and emphasis on the positive effects of physical activity and some strategies that have been implemented in many developed countries to increase the level of PA, only one fourth of all adults complete the amount of time required for the recommended level of PA worldwide.

The recommended level of PA for children and adolescents is minimum 60 minutes moderate- vigorous PA daily, and for adults the recommended minimum PA is 30 minute at a moderate level for 5 days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous PA for 3 days a week (Garber et al., 2011). According to WHO (2010), 81% of children and adolescents aged 11-17 are not physically active at the recommended level. Also, girls were found to be less active than boys (WHO, 2015b). WHO reports (2010 data) show that prevalence of insufficient PA in the Turkish population over the age of 18 is 30-39% for women (WHO, 2015c) and 20-29% men (WHO, 2015d).

In some developed countries, strategic plans have been developed and implemented in order to lower the prevalance of inactivity (CDC, 2011; NHS Health Scotland, 2015; Public Health Agency of Canada, 2015). Similarly, projects aimed at increasing the level of PA are in progress in Turkey. Turkish Ministry of Health has prepared and published 'Physical Activity Guidelines for Turkey'in the framework of 'Healthy Nutrition and Active Life Programme of Turkey (2013-2017)' (Turkish Ministry of Health, 2014). The same program also includes the strategy of 'Decreasing Inactivity Prevalence by 16% (Turkish Ministry of Health, 2013). Yet, more research on the level of PA is required to develop effective strategies to reduce of physical inactivity. Research indicates that the level of PA is highly affected by demographic factors (such as age and gender), social factors (such as socio-economic status, education level of parents), socio-cultural factors (such as parents and peers interest in sport), psychological factors (such as self efficacy and self esteem) and environmental factors (such as weather, season, availability of sports free of charge) (Craggs, et al., 2011; Toftegaard-Stockel et al ? ., 2011; Uijtdewilligen et al., 2011; Uijtdewilligen et al., 2014).

Numerous research studies show that PA decreases with age (Buckworth &Nigg, 2004; Craggs et al., 2011; Gordon Larsen, Nelson & Popkin, 2004; Kwan et al., 2012; Talema & Yang, 2000; Tammelin et al., 2003). Both the quality of physical activity and motivation for PA can change depending on age (Talema & Yang, 2000). In addition, behavior changes greatly occur during the transition stage from adolescence to young adulthood (from high school to college/university) (Gordon Larsen, Nelson & Popkin, 2004; Kwan et al., 2012). During this transition period, noticable changes also occur in PA behavior (Gordon Larsen, Nelson & Popkin, 2004). Some studies show that PA level decreases throughout the period students graduate from high school and move on to college (Kilpatrick, Hebert, & Bartholomew, 2005; Kwan et al., 2012; Silliman, Rodas-Fortier, & Neyman 2004). Besides the transition from high school to college is a critical period for the development of a healthy lifestyle (Njororai and Njorarai, 2015). PA level in young adult period can be used to estimate participation in PA in the future (Hsieh & Chen, 2013). Thus, studies on PA level of young adults have become important. …

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