The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between the level of exercise behavior and individual and environmental factors related to exercise behavior among female Japanese undergraduate students.
The participants were 2482 female Japanese undergraduate students. Participants’ level of exercise behavior was measured by the stage of change to exercise in the transtheoretical model. Individual and environmental factors related to exercise behavior were assessed using body mass index, self-efficacy, social support, perceived positive and negative aspects of exercise, perceived neighborhood environment, attitude toward physical education lessons in childhood and puberty, and depression.
Scores for self-efficacy, social support, positive aspects of exercise, and perceived neighborhood environment were significantly higher among women who were more active compared with those who were inactive. On the other hand, scores for negative aspects of exercise and depression were greater among inactive women compared with those who were insufficiently active and/or active. In addition, past attitude toward exercise in primary school, junior high school, and high school was associated with current level of exercise behavior.
This cross-sectional study confirmed that psychosocial and environmental factors were closely associated with level of exercise behavior among female Japanese undergraduate students.