Twelve month adherence of adults who joined a fitness program with a spouse vs without a spouse

Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness (Impact Factor: 0.97). 10/1995; 35(3):206-13.
Source: PubMed


The purpose was to determine adherence of apparently healthy adults who joined an exercise program with a spouse (Married Pairs) vs. without a spouse (Married Singles). It was hypothesized that Married Pairs would have significantly higher adherence than Married Singles; and that self motivation would be associated with adherence.
Twelve month adherence of Married Pairs and Married Singles were compared to self motivation in a retrospective design.
Subjects in this study did not volunteer for a scientific investigation, instead they were spontaneous participants in a university fitness program.
Married Pairs were 16 couples and Married Singles were 16 married men and 14 married women.
This study observed the 12 month spontaneous participation in a fitness program. The only intervention was the self motivation questionnaire.
Adherence was defined as monthly attendance, compliance to the exercise prescription, dropout, and reason(s) for dropout. Self motivation was also measured.
For Married Pairs, monthly attendance was significantly higher (54.2% +/- 10.3 vs 40.3% +/- 14.3) and dropout (6.3% vs 43.0%) was significantly lower than for Married Singles. Compliance to the exercise prescription was good for all of the groups except for the Married Single Men. Fifty percent of the dropouts left because of family responsibilities/lack of spousal support; 25% dropped-out to continue exercising on their own. Self motivation did not differ between Married Pairs and Married Singles. Monthly attendance of spouses in the Married Pairs demonstrated a significant correlation.
Married Pairs had significantly higher attendance and lower dropout than Married Singles which appeared to be primarily influenced by spousal support rather than by self motivation.

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    • "The findings of those studies that exist are inconsistent, with some reporting higher physical activity levels in married older couples [12] and others finding no association [13,14]. In intervention studies that aimed to increase physical activity levels among older adults, participants who joined programmes together with their spouses were more likely to adhere to the intervention than those who took part on their own [15,16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity patterns have been shown to change significantly across the transition to retirement. As most older adults approach retirement as part of a couple, a better understanding of how spousal pairs influence each other's physical activity behaviour in retirement may help inform more effective interventions to promote physical activity in older age. This qualitative study aimed to explore and describe how couples influence each other's physical activity behaviour in retirement. A qualitative descriptive study that used purposive sampling to recruit seven spousal pairs with at least one partner of each pair recruited from the existing EPIC-Norfolk study cohort in the east of England, aged between 63 and 70 years and recently retired (within 2-6 years). Semi-structured interviews with couples were performed, audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using data-driven content analysis. Three themes emerged: spousal attitude towards physical activity, spouses' physical activity behaviour and spousal support. While spouses' attitudes towards an active retirement were concordant, attitudes towards regular exercise diverged, were acquired across the life course and were not altered in the transition to retirement. Shared participation in physical activity was rare and regular exercise was largely an individual and independent habit. Spousal support was perceived as important for initiation and maintenance of regular exercise. Interventions should aim to create supportive spousal environments for physical activity in which spouses encourage each other to pursue their preferred forms of physical activity; should address gender-specific needs and preferences, such as chances for socialising and relaxation for women and opportunities for personal challenges for men; and rather than solely focusing on promoting structured exercise, should also encourage everyday physical activity such as walking for transport.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    • "As it was assessed whether participants exercised with a companion, this operationalisation might have incorporated not only vicarious experience, but past performance as well. Although it is difficult to distinguish pure modeling from participatory modeling , as older adults prefer to exercise with a partner (Clark, 1996; Wallace, Raglin, & Jastremski, 1995), future research should make an effort to assess vicarious experiences in a way that ensures discriminant validity. Even though vicarious experiences are often assessed by asking participants whether they had a behavioral model in their environment (S.L. Anderson & Betz, 2001; Britner, 2008; Lent et al., 1991), future research might also profit from assessing whether the observer knew of failures and successes that were experienced by the model due to exercising, as successful models are more likely to be imitated (Van Vianen, 1999). "
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    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Applied Psychology Health and Well-Being
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    • "This study demonstrated that PA outcomes were predicted by many sociodemographic factors. Replicating previous research, we found that older participants used the fitness center less (Casperson et al., 2000), that men had more PA than women (Kirchengast & Marosi, 2008), that those who were married or in a marriage-like relationship had more use of the fitness center (Wallace et al., 1995), that those higher in income had more use of the fitness center (Gordon- Larsen et al., 2000), that those who were employed had higher intention for PA as well as higher vigorous PA and use of the fitness center (Macera et al., 2005), and that those who were closer to the fitness center had more vigorous PA and more use of the center than those who were farther away (Reed & Phillips, 2005). Contrary to previous research, we found that older participants had more vigorous PA than the younger counterparts (cf. "
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    ABSTRACT: An intervention was conducted to identify effective but feasible ways to combat the decline in physical activity (PA) among college students. One hundred forty-six first year college students were randomly assigned to one of three brief interventions: brochures, a classroom presentation, or an in-person demonstration. Benefiting from the study, having low perceived stress, and being in a later stage of change for PA were expected to protect against the typical decreases in PA outcomes. Declines in PA were slowed or reversed when students were influenced by the intervention, had lower stress, and were in earlier stages of change. Students may benefit from simple interventions such as one-time seminars and brochures explaining fitness guidelines, especially if combined with a stress management intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
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