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Exercise Behavior in Adults - Essay Example
Although the benefits of regular physical activity have been well documented, (Marcus, Forsyth, Stone, Dubbert, McKenzie, Dunn & Blair 2000) the majority of adults in developed countries do not exercise. Unfortunately, those who could stand to gain the greatest health benefits from an exercise program tend to be the individuals who fail to realize their exercise intentions…
(Marcus, Forsyth, Stone, Dubbert, McKenzie, Dunn & Blair 2000) This lack of physical activity among the elderly is of even greater concern when considering the changing demographics.
The intention to perform a behavior is the most important factor to actually engaging in future behavior, according to Fishbein and Ajzens (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Ajzens (Ajzen 1985) extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model. The TRA states that an intention is formed through a weighted appraisal of attitudes towards a behavior and the subjective norms for this behavior.
The TRA/TPB suggests subjective norms reflect the summed products of the following 2 factors: (i) the individuals beliefs that referents (such as family and friends) influence the behavior in question; and (ii) his or her motivation to comply with these referents. Research support for the importance of subjective norms in exercise intention has generally been insignificant among older and younger adults. (Courneya, Estabrooks & Nigg 1997) Unlike attitude, which tends to consistently account for approximately 30% of behavioral intention, social norms are rarely even significant and always account for a very small percentage towards the variance of exercise intentions. ...