Adherence to a Strength Training Intervention in Adult Women

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access


The factors influencing exercise adherence are not well characterized in women in their pre-menopausal years.


The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of demographic factors contributing to women’s adherence to a 2-year twice-weekly weight training intervention. Overweight and obese premenopausal women were randomized to a control or intervention group.


During the supervised period of the intervention (months 1 to 4), adherence was significantly lower among those with a higher level of education and among unmarried women with children aged 6 to 12 compared with married women without children (F = 4.83, P = .004). Overall adherence during the supervised and unsupervised periods was 95.4% and 64.5%, respectively (unadjusted mean). During year 1, white women were significantly more adherent to the intervention (70.3%) than women of color (48.6%). Nonmarried women with children 13 years or older were significantly less adherent than married women with children 5 years or younger (36.3% versus 75.4%, respectively, P < .007). Overall adherence was 51.4% in year 2.


Interventions and public health recommendations need to further consider how to engage communities to provide effective support for long-term adherence to fitness center based exercise of all women, regardless of demographics.

Arikawa and O’Dougherty are with the Dept of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN. Schmitz is with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.