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4 abr 2012

Self-perceived barriers to physical activity in spanish adolescents

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The health benefits of physical activity (PA) are well-documented. For children specifically, these benefits include the provision of opportunities for peer interaction, promotion of physical health (Bailey, 1999; Penedo et al., 2005), and positive mental health (Sallis et al., 2000).

Autor(es): Aibar, A.; Abarca – Sos, A. ; Murillo, B.; Zaragoza, J. & Generelo, E.
Entidades(es): Universidad de Zaragoza
Congreso: congreso de la asociación internacional de escuelas superiores de educación física (AIESEP)
Úbeda A Coruña, 26-29 de Octubre de 2010
ISBN: 9788461499465
Palabras claves: Barriers, adolescents, self-reported.

Self-perceived barriers to physical activity in spanish adolescents

INTRODUCTION

The health benefits of physical activity (PA) are well-documented. For children specifically, these benefits include the provision of opportunities for peer interaction, promotion of physical health (Bailey, 1999; Penedo et al., 2005), and positive mental health (Sallis et al., 2000). Concern about increased levels of childhood overweight and obesity in Spain the prevalence of obesity in children is very high (13.9%) (Serra-Majem et al., 2006), and whether this pattern will continue into adolescence underscores the importance of being physically active (Sallis et al., 2000). But unfortunately research indicated that PA rates decline consistently during the adolescent years (Trost et al., 2002;). This decline occurs more sharply among girls, with girls being less physically active than boys (Trost et al., 2002).

There are many factors that affect participation in PA. These included demographic variables, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about PA (Dishman, 1994). Health education theories (Ajzen, 1991) suggest that health behaviors are influenced in part by two cognitive variables. There are two cognitive variables, which account for PA levels: perceived benefits and perceived barriers. Perceived barriers refer to an individual’s evaluation of the potential obstacles that curtail him or her from engaging in a health behavior (Brown, 2005). Perceived barriers can negatively influence the participation in PA (Buckworth et al., 1999).

AREA OF STUDY

Examination of perceived PA barriers was considered important to contribute to physical inactivity in samples of adolescents. Quantitative and qualitative studies have examined barriers and other factors that influence PA among adolescents (Allison et al., 1999; Sallis et al., 2000; Sherwood and Jeffrey, 2000). These factors have been categorized and analyzed as individual and environmental characteristics (Sherwood and Jeffery, 2000) or internal and external barriers (Allison et al., 1999). More recently, scholars have concluded that low perceived barriers are a more important predictor of PA behavior than high perceived benefits (Taylor et al., 2002). Perceiving greater barriers to PA is among the most consistent negative correlate of children’s actual PA (Allison et al., 1999; Sallis et al., 2000).

The most frequently reported barriers to activity participation in adolescents are, lack of time (Booth et al., 1997; Myers et al., 1997; Grubbs et al., 2002), lack of interest or motivation and fatigue (Allison et al., 1999; Tappe et al., 1989), too much school work, inclement weather, job responsibilities, not being the athletic type, no exercising among their peers, dislike for exercising alone, self-conscious about their looks, lack of transportation, and unsafe neighbourhoods (Kirtland et al., 2003).

Many studies which were completed in some countries evaluated perceived benefits and barriers to PA among young people (Brown, 2005; Grubbs etal., 2002), but there exists no data about the subject in Spanish adolescents. In the current study active and non-active children (boys and girls) are compared to explore how perceived barriers for PA. The purpose of this study was to analyze perceived barriers to PA in groups of Spanish adolescents defined by gender and PA level.

METHODS

A representative sample of Aragón (Spain) adolescents students (public an private school), participated in this study. The inclusion criteria were all secondary schools in Aragón region, who had lived for at least 3 years in this district. The exclusion criterion was serious disease. Only 25 subjects were excluded. After eliminating cases with incomplete and missing data, the final sample consisted of 1573 adolescents (859 boys and 714 girls) (a response rate of 97,2% was obtained). Aragon is located in the northeast part of Spain, and is the fourth largest region in Spain (~ 48,000 km2) and had approximately 1.2 million inhabitants.

The age of these students ranged from12 to 15 years, with a mean age of 13.5 ± 0.7 yr.. The different strata were selected according to the structure of the region school system, geographic distribution and gender. Subjects were classified according to sex. Two self-report questionnaires has been used: “Assesment of Physical Activity Level Questionnaire” (APALQ) (Ledent, Cloes, & Pieron, 1997), and the scale of barriers developed to (Tape et al., 1989; Sallis, 1995). Perceived PA: PA in this study was assessed using the Assesment of Physical Activity Level Questionnaire (Ledent, Cloes, &Pieron, 1997). This scale uses six items to asses a children´s PA. Each item is scored on a 100 point Likert (scale 0= I´m totally disagree ; 100= I´m totally agree with the sentences). Scale with higher scores reflecting a greater level of PA.The average of the six items is used as the activity level.

Perceived barriers to PA: Participants completed the scale of barriers developed to (Tape et al., 1989; Sallis, 1995) for assess children’s perception of barriers to their PA. This scale includes 17 items-barriers. Barrier items were prefaced by “How much of a problem are the following when wanting to do physical activity?”. Children choosing a response on a 7-point scale (e.g., not at all a problem (0) to a serious problem (6)). The perceived barriers were divided into two categories: internal barriers and external barriers (Sallis et al., 1992).

The University of Zaragoza provided ethical approval for the research protocol. Questionnaires were distributed and filled out during physical education classes and were administered to children by the researchers with the cooperation and assistance of the physical education teacher. Data were collected from October to June 2007. Data were analyzed using SPSS (version 15.0).

The results of the perceived barriers to the PA according gender were presented using descriptive statistics. Barriers in orden of importance (number and %) of subjects according gender; mean and standard deviations were calculated for all barriers. One- way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted separately by gender to compare the score of barrier types. The criterion for significance was adjusted to p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Barriers mean (SD) scores are presented by gender in table 1.

Table 1. Mean scores and standard deviations (SD) for barriers, males and females.*p<0,05;**p0,01;***p0,001

Table 1. Self-perceived barriers to physical activity in spanish adolescents

Contenido disponible en el CD Colección Congresos nº 16

 

For males, “I have too much school work”, “I have to study too much” (perceived by 66,8% of de males sample) and “I don´t have enough time” (perceived by 65,8% of de males sample), are the major barriers to practice PA. All three major barriers are specific to the external barriers. For females, “I have to study too much” (perceived by 79,0% of de males sample), “I have too much school work” (perceived by 78,4% of de males sample), “I don´t have enough time” (perceived by 73,0% of de males sample) and “I have too many jobs around the house” (perceived by 54,1% of de males sample), are the major barriers to practice PA. All four major barriers are specific to the external barriers. The perceived barriers as a minor problem for the male and female population was “I´m not allowed to go out” (only 11,9% of the females sample is a problem and 10,6% of the males sample). Mean scores for barriers categories are presented by gender in table 2. Table 2. Mean scores for barriers categories, males and females. ***p<0,001

External barriers were the most important barriers cited by subjects of both genders. Significal differences were found between gender in intrapersonal barriers and environmental barriers by gender.

DISCUSION

This study aimed to identify barriers associated with gender among adolescents. Identifying barriers of youth PA is considered to be of public health significance (Davies et al., 1995) because such information could inform efforts that seek to increase the proportion of young people who meet health-related PA guidelines. Results from this investigation suggest that environmental and contextual barriers seemed more important than perceived internal barriers in both genders, especially in girls. Different studies in Spain, has demonstrated that the PA patterns in the adolescent age descends in both sexes, although of one more a more significant way in the girls (Veiga, 2004). Little is known why girls become particularly inactive during adolescence. One explanation for the decreasing levels of PA during the adolescence is the number of barriers that make it difficult to participate. Gender-related barriers of exercise have been suggested as significant mediators for PA behavior change. Individuals who perceive fewer PA barriers are typically more active than those who report high perceived barriers (Taylor et al., 2002)

Time constraints also have been reported as a significant barrier to PA in young people. Significant of time constraints as a barrier to PA among adolescents was consistent with previous studies (Neumar-Sztainer et al., 2003), specifically is the lack of time the most frequently reported barrier to activity participation ( Grubbs et al., 2002). In this study the greatest barrier was time constraints due to school work and the lack of time according other studies (Allison et al., 1999; Grubbs et al., 2002). These findings indicates the need for adolescents alike to learn and affectively use time management strategies that emphasize priorities and better scheduling of physical activities (Tappe et al., 1989), because adolescence is a time wherein individuals begin to assert autonomy in their decision making and make life decisions, and suggest the importance of addressing time constraints within interventions; youths may need help in time management, making PA a priority (Neumar-Sztainer et al., 2003).

In this survey, perceived external barriers seemed more important than perceived internal barriers, but in contrast with others investigations that demonstrated that perceived internal barriers were as important that perceived external barriers (Gyurcsik et al., 2004). Gender differences among barriers to PA may help explain the divergent levels of actual PA in adolescence between boys and girls, but the factors promoting greater perceived barriers to PA and actual level of PA by girls remain unclear (Allison et al., 1999).

This study had two important properties: Few studies have examined the barriers among spanisch adolescents students. Our findings may shed light on the interventions to promote PA in adolescents students. The results of this study are not without limitation. The use of a college population limits the generalizability of this study; noncollege populations are likely to experience different benefits and barriers. Another limitation may be in our measures of PA. The measure of PA reported is limited. Future research might consider a more detailed measure of PA in general which should include activity type, duration, and frequency.

CONCLUSION

Findings from the current study have implications in terms of recommendations for programs aimed at increasing PA and sport participation in adolescent childrens. In terms of future research directions, both quantitative and qualitative research is necessary. For instance, qualitative research would allow for an in-depth examination of barriers to sport or PA.

Ajzen, I. (1991) The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50, 179- 211.

Allison, K.R., Dwyer, J.M. and Makin, S. (1999) Perceived barriers to physical activity among high school students. Preventive Medicine 28, 608–15.

Bailey, R.P. (1999) Play, health and physical development. In T. David, ed., Young Children behaviors. Family & Community Health 25(2), 76- 84.

Booth, A. B., Bauman, A. and Owen, N. (1997) Physical activity preferences, preferred sources of assistance, and perceived barriers to increased activity among physically inactive Australians. Preventive Medicine 26:131–137. Brown, S.A. (2005) Measuring Perceived Benefits and Perceived Barriers for Physical Activity. American Journal Health Behaviour 29(2): 107-116.

Buckworth, J. and Dishman, R.K. (1999) Determinants of physical activity; research to application. In: Butcher, J. (1986) Longitudinal analysis of adolescents girls´aspirations at school and perceptions of popularity. Adolescence 21:133-145.

Davies, P.S., Gregory, J. and White, A. (1995) Phsysical activity and body fatness in preschool children. International Journal Obesity Relativity Metabolic Disorder 19, 6-10.

Dishman, R.K. (1994) Advances in exercise adherence. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Grubbs, L. and Carter, J. (2002) The relationship of perceived benefits and barriers to reported exercise behaviors. Family & Community Health 25(2), 76-84.

Gyurcsik, N.C., Bray, S.R. and Brittain, D.R. (2004) Coping with barriers to vigorous physical activity during transition to university. Family & Community Health 27(2), 130-142.

Kirtland, K. A., Porter, D.E. and Addy, C.L. (2003) Environmental measure of physical activity supports: perception versus reality. American Journal Prevention Medicine 24, 323–331.

Ledent, M., Coles, M. and Piéron, M. (1997) Les jeunes, leur activite physique et leurs perceptions de la santé, de la forme, des capacities athletiques et de l´apparence. Sport 40(3), 90-95. Myers, R.S. and Roth, D.L. (1997) Perceived benefits of and barriers to exercise and stage of exercise adoption in young adults. Health Psychology 16, 277–283.

Neumar-Sztainer, D., Story, M., Hannan, P.J., Tharp, T. and Rex, J. (2003) Factors associated with changes in physical activity. Archives Pediatric adolescence medicine 157, 803-810.

Penedo, F.J. and Dahn J.R. (2005) Exercise and well-being: A review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 18, 189–193.

Sallis, J.F., Hovell, M.F. and Hofstetter, C.R. (1992) Predictors o adoption and maintenance of vigorous physical activity in men and women. Preventive Medicine 21; 237-251.

Sallis, J.F. (1995) A behavioral perspective on children’s physical activity. In L. Cheung and J.B. Richmond (Eds.), Child Health, Nutrition, and Physical Activity. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 125-138.

Sallis, J.F., Prochaska, J.J. and Taylor, W.C. (2000) A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 32, 963-975.

Serra-Majem, L., Aranceta-Bartrina, J., Perez-Rodrigo, C., Ribas-Barba, L. and Delgado-Rubio, A. (2006) Prevalence and determinants of obesity in Spanish children and young people. British Journal Nutrition 96 (suppl 1), S67–S72.

Sherwood, N.E. and Jeffery, R.W. (2000) The behavioral determinants of exercise: Implications for physical activity interventions. Annual Review of Nutrition 20, 21-44.

Tappe, M.K., Duda, J.L. and Ehrnwald, P.M. (1989) Perceived barriers to exercise among adolescents. Journal of School Health 59(4), 153-155.

Taylor, W.C., Sallis, J.F. and Dowda, M. (2002) Activity patterns and correlates among youth: differences by weight status. Pediatric Exercise Science. 14, 418-431.

Trost, S.G., Pate, R.R., Sallis, J.F., Freedson, P.S., Taylor, W.C., Dowda, M. and S?rard, J. (2002) Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth. Medicine Science &Sports Exercise 34, 350-355.

REFERENCES

Ajzen, I. (1991) The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50, 179- 211.

Allison, K.R., Dwyer, J.M. and Makin, S. (1999) Perceived barriers to physical activity among high school students. Preventive Medicine 28, 608–15.

Bailey, R.P. (1999) Play, health and physical development. In T. David, ed., Young Children behaviors. Family & Community Health 25(2), 76- 84.

Booth, A. B., Bauman, A. and Owen, N. (1997) Physical activity preferences, preferred sources of assistance, and perceived barriers to increased activity among physically inactive Australians. Preventive Medicine 26:131–137. Brown, S.A. (2005) Measuring Perceived Benefits and Perceived Barriers for Physical Activity. American Journal Health Behaviour 29(2): 107-116.

Buckworth, J. and Dishman, R.K. (1999) Determinants of physical activity; research to application. In: Butcher, J. (1986) Longitudinal analysis of adolescents girls´aspirations at school and perceptions of popularity. Adolescence 21:133-145.

Davies, P.S., Gregory, J. and White, A. (1995) Phsysical activity and body fatness in preschool children. International Journal Obesity Relativity Metabolic Disorder 19, 6-10.

Dishman, R.K. (1994) Advances in exercise adherence. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Grubbs, L. and Carter, J. (2002) The relationship of perceived benefits and barriers to reported exercise behaviors. Family & Community Health 25(2), 76-84.

Gyurcsik, N.C., Bray, S.R. and Brittain, D.R. (2004) Coping with barriers to vigorous physical activity during transition to university. Family & Community Health 27(2), 130-142.

Kirtland, K. A., Porter, D.E. and Addy, C.L. (2003) Environmental measure of physical activity supports: perception versus reality. American Journal Prevention Medicine 24, 323–331.

Ledent, M., Coles, M. and Piéron, M. (1997) Les jeunes, leur activite physique et leurs perceptions de la santé, de la forme, des capacities athletiques et de l´apparence. Sport 40(3), 90-95. Myers, R.S. and Roth, D.L. (1997) Perceived benefits of and barriers to exercise and stage of exercise adoption in young adults. Health Psychology 16, 277–283.

Neumar-Sztainer, D., Story, M., Hannan, P.J., Tharp, T. and Rex, J. (2003) Factors associated with changes in physical activity. Archives Pediatric adolescence medicine 157, 803-810.

Penedo, F.J. and Dahn J.R. (2005) Exercise and well-being: A review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 18, 189–193.

Sallis, J.F., Hovell, M.F. and Hofstetter, C.R. (1992) Predictors o adoption and maintenance of vigorous physical activity in men and women. Preventive Medicine 21; 237-251.

Sallis, J.F. (1995) A behavioral perspective on children’s physical activity. In L. Cheung and J.B. Richmond (Eds.), Child Health, Nutrition, and Physical Activity. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 125-138.

Sallis, J.F., Prochaska, J.J. and Taylor, W.C. (2000) A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 32, 963-975.

Serra-Majem, L., Aranceta-Bartrina, J., Perez-Rodrigo, C., Ribas-Barba, L. and Delgado-Rubio, A. (2006) Prevalence and determinants of obesity in Spanish children and young people. British Journal Nutrition 96 (suppl 1), S67–S72.

Sherwood, N.E. and Jeffery, R.W. (2000) The behavioral determinants of exercise: Implications for physical activity interventions. Annual Review of Nutrition 20, 21-44.

Tappe, M.K., Duda, J.L. and Ehrnwald, P.M. (1989) Perceived barriers to exercise among adolescents. Journal of School Health 59(4), 153-155.

Taylor, W.C., Sallis, J.F. and Dowda, M. (2002) Activity patterns and correlates among youth: differences by weight status. Pediatric Exercise Science. 14, 418-431.

Trost, S.G., Pate, R.R., Sallis, J.F., Freedson, P.S., Taylor, W.C., Dowda, M. and S?rard, J. (2002) Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth. Medicine Science &Sports Exercise 34, 350-355.

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