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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between attitude toward physical activity and exercise practices among a large, well-defined population of rural mid western elderly. The frequency of participation in exercise was a composite across three questions regarding physical activity. Intensity of exercise was also considered. The data were analyzed according to a weighted least-squares approach to categorical data. The resulting chisquare goodness-of-fit model was significant and replicated the exercise behavior of the subjects. A significant main effect for gender and a significant age × attitude interaction was observed. The main effect for gender revealed that, for any age × attitude combination, males were more apt to participate at a given exercise level. However, age mediated the influence of attitude on exercise. Older age had a more detrimental effect on exercise behavior if attitude toward exercise was positive.
This research was supported in part by National Institute of Aging Contract No. 1-AG-0-2106.