Psychological determinants of physical activity in Japanese female employees

Yuko Nishida, Hisao Suzuki, Da Hong Wang, Shohei Kira

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    32 Citations (Scopus)


    To understand how psychological characteristics influence adoption and maintenance of physical activity/exercise, we conducted a cross-sectional study among Japanese employees based upon the idea of stages of behavior modification. The study population consisted of 719 employees (male, 396, female, 323) from five medium-sized manufacturing companies (50-200 employees) in Okayama Prefecture, Japan. The female response rate was 67.5% (n=218), among which 201 eligible female subjects (62.2%) were analyzed. The study questionnaire included demographic characteristics, physical activity/exercise measures, self-efficacy measures, and perceived benefit and barriers scales. Participants were asked to select the items that best described their current physical activity/exercise level from an 8-item questionnaire, and we converted their answers to the 5 stages of change according to a transtheoretical model of behavior change. Perceived benefit and barrier scales were classified into 7 factors (4 benefits and 3 barriers) by factor analyses. The relationship between psychological determinants and the stage of physical activity/exercise was examined by one-way analysis of variance. Only 10% of the subjects had moderate physical activity (in the action and maintenance stages) regularly. We found that self-efficacy, "weight control benefit", "physical barrier" and "time barrier" were psychological determinants of physical activity/exercise stages in female employees, and especially there was a consistent relationship between self -efficacy and the stage of physical activity/ exercise. Our data suggest that health education for Japanese female employees requires that health professionals should provide support for strengthening self-efficacy, show practical ways to increase physical activity in daily life, and provide broad and accurate information showing that physical activity/exercise have a good effect on health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-22
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Occupational Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


    • Japanese female employees
    • Physical activity
    • Physical barrier
    • Self-efficacy
    • Transtheoretical model
    • Weight control benefit

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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