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The purpose of this study was to (a) examine demographic, psychosocial, and physiological predictors of exercise adherence in a yearlong exercise intervention and (b) describe the trajectory of adherence over time.
Participants were 51 men and 49 women aged 40 to 75 years. The supervised and home-based intervention consisted of 60 minutes/day, 6 days/week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise. Three adherence measures were used: (1) minutes/week, (2) MET-hours/week, and (3) change in cardiopulmonary fitness (VO2max). Predictors of adherence were determined separately by sex using mixed models and multivariable regression.
Participants performed 287 ± 98 minutes/week of moderate-to-vigorous activity with 71% adhering to at least 80% (288 minutes/week) of the prescription. Men adhered better than women (P < .001). Among women, adiposity-related variables were significantly related to poorer adherence on all 3 measures (P < .05). A less consistent pattern was observed among men but in follow-up analyses, adiposity was associated with fewer MET-hours/week of exercise. Social support, pain, and perceived benefits were predictive in some models. Men and nonobese women experienced peak adherence at 4 to 6 months, while obese women peaked during months 0 to 3.
When provided with supervision and support, previously sedentary men and women can achieve and maintain high levels of aerobic activity.
Cadmus-Bertram (firstname.lastname@example.org) is with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Irwin is with the Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT. Alfano is with the Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS, Bethesda, MD. Campbell is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Duggan, Foster-Schubert, Wang, and McTiernan are with the Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.