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The Long and Winding Road to Physical Activity Maintenance

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Objectives : To build upon state-of-the-art theory and empirical data to estimate the strength of multiple mediators of the efficacious Keep Active Minnesota (KAM) physical activity (PA) maintenance intervention.

Methods : The total, direct, and indirect effects through which KAM helped randomized participants (KAM n 523; UC n 526) maintain moderate or vigorous PA (MVPA) for up to 2 years were estimated using structural equation modeling.

Results : Multiple mediators explained half ( .052, P .13) of the effect of KAM on MVPA ( .105, P .004). Self-efficacy was the upstream variable in 2 endogenously mediated effects, and the self-concept mediator emerged as the strongest predictor of MVPA.

Conclusions : KAM positively impacted self-efficacy, which was associated with PA enjoyment, integration into the self-concept, and PA maintenance. Successful long-term PA maintenance appears to be influenced by multiple small interrelated mediational pathways. Future research evaluating maintenance models should specify recursive relationships among mediators and outcomes.

Keywords: behavioral intervention; maintenance; multiple mediation; physical activity; structural equation modeling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Research Investigator, HealthPartners Research Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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