Explaining the Role of Personal, Social and Physical Environment Factors on Employed Women's Physical Activity: A Structural Equation Analysis

Fatemeh Bakhtari Aghdam, Mohammad Hossein Baghiani Moghaddam, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Hamid Allahverdipour, Saed Dabagh Nikookheslat, Roghaieh Noorizadeh


Background and Objectives: PA is a multi-factorial behavior that is affected by interpersonal, intra personal, environmental and social factors. In this study we applied explanatory model to determine the total, indirect and direct impact of physical environment, personal factors and social support on PA among employed women. Methods: This study was a correlational cross-sectional study which was conducted to model total, indirect and direct impact of environmental, psychological and social factors on PA. A total of 200 women were chosen from Tabriz University by using convenience sampling method. Data about demographic characteristics, psychological variables, social and physical environment were gathered by using self-reported questionnaire and also the PA was measured by using the International PA Questionnaire and pedometer. Results: personal factors, physical and social environment, showed direct effects on PA. Social factors could be seen to have indirect effects on PA through their influence on personal factors such as pros, cons and self-efficacy; also physical environment had indirect effects on PA through social environment. The total effects of physical and social environment on PA type were respectively 0.17, 0.16 on walking, 0.05, 0.07 on moderate activity and 0.15, 0.18 on vigorous activity. Conclusions: Findings from this study indicated that social factors had indirect effects on walking, moderate and vigorous activity, especially through the effects on these factors of self-efficacy, physical environment, pros and cons, and the interactive role of individual, environmental and social impacts on PA. The current study identifies that psychological, physical and social factors could be shown to have direct and indirect influences on all forms of activity. The barriers of PA were the most predictor of this behavior, and based on results, it can be concluded that decreasing the barriers along with improving social and physical environment can lead to increasing PA and health promotion.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/gjhs.v5n4p189

Global Journal of Health Science   ISSN 1916-9736(Print)   ISSN 1916-9744(Online)

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