Perceived determinants of fitness behavior
Bonny, Sheila I.
The purpose of this study was to discover what determinants YWCA participants perceived influenced them to enrol in fitness programs. Knowledge of those determinants was used to recommend strategies to promote participation in YWCA fitness programs. From examination of the Health Belief and Health Promotion Models of health behaviour, the researcher chose to concentrate on four areas of determinants. These were sources of information about exercise, the influence of other people, barriers to exercise, and cues to exercise. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 mid-life female participants in the Saskatoon YWCA fitness programs, two YWCA directors, and an instructor in a Recreation and Leisure Diploma program. The YWCA participants also met in groups to collaborate with the researcher in recommending strategies to encourage exercise participation. Five major determinants of exercise participation were identified: respondents exercised for fitness and health, past experience provided information about exercise, all the children of the respondents exercised, lack of time served as the greatest barrier to exercise, and suggestions of others frequently cued exercise. To encourage participation of mid-life women in fitness programs, the researcher recommends that the YWCA continue classes for the 40-60 age group, continue scheduling classes at a variety of times, make "health and fitness" and "family fitness" marketing themes, recruit present participants as word of mouth advertisers, hold an information night, and prepare a promotional videotape on the Saskatoon YWCA.