Active for a Day: Predictors of Relapse Among Previously Active Mass Event Participants

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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To promote maintenance of sufficient physical activity (PA), better understanding of factors associated with behavioral relapse is needed.


To identify PA relapsers and predictors of this state in a large community sample of women who participated in 2 mass 10-km events in Ireland.


Relapsers to ‘low active’ were identified at 3-month follow-up, and factors associated with relapse investigated.


11% of the sample decreased their participation by at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity PA per week and regressed to ‘insufficiently active.’ Adjusted analysis indicated relapse was associated with walking the event (OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.05−1.85) and not achieving tertiary education (OR = 1.49; 95% CI = 1.18−1.88). Normal-range BMI, training continuously, urban residence, and increases in self efficacy and positive perceptions of the physical environment were related to lower incidence of relapse.


Education, living in an urban area, BMI, walking the event, training, and self efficacy are all associated with relapse and while mass events are a useful motivator for PA, strategies are required following events to maintain participation levels and generate a lasting public health impact.

Lane and Murphy are with the Dept of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland. Bauman and Chey are with the School of Public Health, Center for Physical Activity and Health, Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.