Related conference presentation: Malone LA, Barfield JP, Yelisetty RK, Stamps K, Theriot L (2009). Do perceived exercise benefits and barriers differ by age, gender, or activity level? 17th International Symposium on Adapted Physical Activity. Gävle, Sweden, July 23–27.
Laurie A. Malone, Ph.D., J.P. Barfield, D.A., Joel D. Brasher, M.A.Ed.
Published Online: July 23, 2012
Information regarding factors that affect the initial step to exercise behavior change among persons with physical disabilities or chronic health conditions is available in the literature but much less is known regarding perceived benefits and barriers to exercise among those who are regularly active.
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived benefits and barriers to exercise among persons with physical disabilities or chronic health conditions within action or maintenance stages of exercise.
Participants (n = 152) completed the Exercise Benefits and Barriers Scale (EBBS). For data analyses, disabilities and health conditions were grouped as neuromuscular, orthopedic, cardiovascular/pulmonary, or multiple conditions. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to determine if mean differences on EBBS benefits and barriers scores existed among disability types, between sexes, among age groups, and between physical activity levels. Sum scores were computed to determine the strongest benefit and barrier responses.
No significant mean differences in EBBS scores were found between disability types, sexes, age groups, or physical activity levels (p > 0.05). Strongest benefit responses varied by group. Strongest barrier responses were the same for all demographic groups: “Exercise tires me,” “Exercise is hard work for me,” and “I am fatigued by exercise.”
EBBS scores were similar across disability/health condition, sex, age, and physical activity level. Primary benefits reported were in the areas of improved physical performance and psychological outlook whereas the primary barriers were in the area of physical exertion.