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Do Physical Activity Beliefs Differ by Age and Gender?

Ryan E. Rhodes, Chris M. Blanchard, and Rachel E. Blacklock

Age and gender are consistently related to physical activity (PA), yet theoretical explanation for these associations is scant. The present study compared the mean values and correlations of a population sample, divided by gender and age group, with respect to theory of planned behavior beliefs (behavioral, normative, and control) and PA. Participants were a sample (N = 6,739) of adults (M age = 49.65, SD = 16.04) who completed measures of social and health demographics, theory of planned behavior beliefs, and self-reported PA. Mean analyses identi-fed greater perceived control over PA for seniors than for young and middle-aged adults (η2 > .025). Belief–behavior correlations, however, were not different across age and gender in 24 of 26 tests (q < .19). Thus, PA beliefs are invariant across age and gender with the exception of mean levels of perceived control, which are lower among younger adults than older adults. Factors such as early parenthood and career demands were considered the likely reasons for differences. Overall, the evidence suggests that adapting theoretical models for specific age groups or based on gender may not be necessary.

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Relationship Between Regular Walking, Physical Activity, and Health-Related Quality of Life

Rachel E. Blacklock, Ryan E. Rhodes, and Shane G. Brown


The current physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) literature warrants further investigation with general population samples. The exploratory-focused purpose of this study was to compare total PA-HRQoL and walking-HRQoL relations, include a measure of general happiness, and to evaluate potential activity-HRQoL demographic moderators.


A random sample of 351 adults completed an adapted Godin Leisure Time Questionnaire, the SF-36, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale.


Partial correlations revealed small-to-moderate associations between walking/total PA and general health, vitality, and social functioning after controlling for key demographics (P < 0.05). A dependent t-test determined walking and PA as equally related to vitality and social functioning. Multiple regression revealed annual income as a moderator of the total PA/walking-social functioning relationship [F(3,315) = 9.71 and F(3,316) = 12.03, P < 0.01, respectively].


HRQoL may be considered with walking interventions and annual income. The contribution of PA to overall happiness appears to be minor.