Why Won’t They Exercise More? Development of a Tool to Assess Motivators and Barriers to Exercise in Older Adults

  •  Lucy Moss    
  •  Mark Moss    
  •  Lynn McInnes    


Objectives The aim was to develop a quantitative tool to measure perceived motivators and barriers to exercise amongst older adults in order to facilitate the development of bespoke interventions. Methods Focus groups conducted with participants over the age of 65 informed the initial development of a 56-item Motivators and Barriers Questionnaire (MBQ). This was administered to a second sample of 72 sedentary and active older adults (65 to 90 years). Results Principle components analysis resulted in five factors defined as motivators to exercise and six factors representing barriers to exercise. A subsequent confirmatory factor analysis provided support for the model as assessed by RMSEA criteria. Discussion These findings suggest that the MBQ may help to identify an individual’s ‘profile’ of motivators and barriers to exercise, and so inform personalized interventions that might successfully increase activity levels in adults over 65 years of age when compared to standardised approaches.

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