Application of the social ecological constructs to explain physical activity in middle aged adults

Ji-Hang Lee * and Youngho Kim **

(*) College of Sport Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Gyeonggi, Korea
(**) Department of Sport Science, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea

The current study investigated the relationships of psychological, social environmental, and physical environmental variables with physical activity, and tested whether the psychological variables mediate the relationships of the environmental variables with physical activity. Participants were a voluntary sample of 352 middle- aged adults residing in Seoul. Standardized scales were administered to measure physical activity and the three sets of explanatory variables. These findings indicated that physical activity was significantly correlated with self-efficacy, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, family support, friend support, and availability and quality of exercise facilities. All the psychological, social environmental, and physical environmental variables had significant effect on physical activity. Additionally, self-efficacy for physical activity and perceived benefits of physical activity mediated the relationship between family support and physical activity. However, perceived barriers mediated the relationship between availability of facilities and physical activity. This study provides useful information for developing and implementing intervention strategies that could promote engagement in physical activity among middle-aged adults.

Keywords: Middle aged adults, Physical activity psychological variable, Social and physical environmental variable