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Benefits and Barriers to Exercise among Individuals with Class III Obesity

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Objectives: In this paper, we describe the degree of exercise and sedentary behavior among individuals with class III obesity, identify perceived benefits and barriers to exercise, and discuss the association of exercise barriers with activity and sedentary behavior. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study at a tertiary care center. Adults with class III obesity referred to the Bariatric Program completed the exercise benefits/barriers scale, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short-Form, and the Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire. Participants were asked to list additional exercise barriers. Results: The 80 participants engaged in a median of 699.0 MET-minutes/week of physical activity, and were sedentary 10.4 ± 4.5 hours/day. The mean exercise benefits/barriers score was 126.3 ± 12.8 (barrier score = 31.6 ± 5.3, benefit score = 87.8 ± 9.4). Less than 60% identified exercise as enjoyable, or a form of social interaction. More than 60% identified exercise barriers related to physical exertion. Additional barriers included pain and musculoskeletal comorbidities (39.4%), psychological factors (14.7%), and weight (12.6%). There was no statistically significant association between exercise barriers and sedentary behavior (p = .69) or physical activity (p = .08). Conclusions: Participants reported low physical activity, with high sedentary behavior and exercise barriers. Physical exertion, pain and musculoskeletal comorbidities were common barriers, which highlights importance of thoughtful exercise with attention to exercise barriers in this population .
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pamela L. Joseph, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada 2: Alis Bonsignore, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto ON (Canada) 3: Gail F. Kunkel, Trillium Health Partners, Toronto, ON (Canada) 4: Sherry L. Grace, Professor, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON (Canada) 5: Sanjeev Sockalingam, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, University Health Network and Centre for Mental Health, Toronto, ON (Canada) 6: Paul Oh, Medical Director, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention & Rehabilitation, University Health Network – Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, ON (Canada);, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • 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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