Longitudinal shifts in employees' stages and processes of exercise behavior change

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Date of Original Version



Purpose. This study examines the usefulness of using the stages and processes of change model to explore exercise adoption and maintenance over time. Design. Data for this study were collected as part of the baseline and follow-up survey of participants in a worksite health promotion project. Subjects. Three hundred fourteen employees completed exercise questionnaires. The average age was 41 years, mean body mass index was 26, average years of education were 13, and 66% were women. Setting. The study was conducted in two worksites, a retail outlet and a manufacturing company. Measures. Previously validated questionnaires to determine stages and processes of exercise adoption were administered at baseline and 6-month follow-up, along with questions about demographic variables. Results. Four patterns of stage change emerged: subjects who became more active (adopters, 26%), those who became less active (relapsers, 15%), and those who did not change over time (stable sedentary, 32%; stable active, 27%). Adopters displayed increases in use of the processes of change, whereas relapses displayed decreases in process use. Stable profiles were associated with no change in process use. Conclusions. These findings have important implications for research on exercise adoption and maintenance. Interventions tailored specifically to subjects' stage of readiness to be active and using specific processes to help in the change process are warranted at this time.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

American Journal of Health Promotion