Do the determinants of physical activity change by physical activity level?


H.O. Kim: e-mail:


Title. Do the determinants of physical activity change by physical activity level?

Aim.  The paper reports on a study to describe the determinants of physical activity according to physical activity level among rural women in Korea.

Background.  The benefits of physical activity for promoting health and preventing illness are well known, and gender and regional disparities in physical activity have been reported. Although the number of women who perform physical activity has increased, many still do not meet the recommended levels to gain health benefits.

Method.  A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using a structured questionnaire. A convenience sample of 245 women living in a rural area of Korea was recruited during 2004. Self-efficacy, benefits, barriers and sociodemographics were examined in relation to three levels of physical activity: inactive, insufficiently active and active. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression were used for data analysis.

Result.  Perceived self-efficacy, benefits and barriers were statistically significant determinants only when the insufficiently active group was compared with the inactive group. Sociodemographic factors related to work and family roles statistically significantly explained the physical activity levels of rural women.

Conclusion.  Nursing interventions to increase self-efficacy and benefits, or decrease perceived barriers could be effective for initiating physical activity for inactive women, whereas the same may not apply for insufficiently active women. Insufficiently active women may have false confidence that their physical activity will help them gain health benefits. Reducing the burdens of work and family roles of rural women might improve their physical activity levels.