Physical activity (PA) is enjoyable, but there are barriers to participation. TV viewing is highly enjoyable with limited barriers. Exercising while viewing TV may impact enjoyment, exercise self-efficacy, and barriers to PA, compared with exercising without TV.
58 sedentary, overweight adults were randomized to 1 of 2 PA prescriptions: one that increased PA during TV viewing (TV Commercial Stepping), and another that focused solely on PA (Walking). Random effects models tested changes in enjoyment of TV and PA, exercise self-efficacy, and barriers to PA across time (baseline, 3, and 6 months) and PA prescription during a 6-month PA intervention.
At baseline, TV was more enjoyable than PA. Over the 6-month intervention, enjoyment of TV viewing did not change, but enjoyment of PA and exercise self-efficacy significantly increased, while barriers to PA significantly decreased for both groups compared with baseline (P < .05).
While enjoyment of TV viewing remained constant, PA became more enjoyable, confidence to exercise increased, and barriers to being active were reduced for previously sedentary adults participating in a behavioral PA intervention. These findings highlight the importance of encouraging inactive adults to engage in some form of PA, whether it occurs with or without TV viewing.