Although the benefits of the recommended level of physical activity on reducing chronic diseases are well-established, most of the Japanese population is not sufficiently active. Thus, examining correlates is an important prerequisite for designing relevant polices and effective programs. The present study investigated psychological, social, and environmental factors associated with meeting physical activity recommendations among Japanese adults.
Data were analyzed for 1,932 men and women (43.6 ± 13.0 years), who responded to an Internet-based cross-sectional survey. Self-reported measure of physical activity, psychological (self-efficacy, pros, and cons), social (social support, health professional advice), environmental (home fitness equipment, access to facilities, neighborhood safety, enjoyable scenery, frequently observing others exercising, residential area), and demographic (gender, age, marital status, educational level, household income level, employment status) variables were obtained. Based on the current national guidelines for exercise in Japan (23 METs·hour per week), respondents were divided into two categories–recommended and not recommended (insufficient and inactive)–according to their estimated weekly physical activity level. An adjusted logistic regression model was utilized.
When adjusting for all other variables, self-efficacy (men: OR = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.55–2.94, women: OR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.82–4.08) and possessing home fitness equipment (men: OR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.14–2.10, women: OR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.01–1.99) for both genders, social support (OR = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.06–1.97) for men, and enjoyable scenery (OR = 1.60; 95% CI: 1.09–2.36) for women were positively associated with attaining the recommended level of physical activity. In women, cons (OR = 0.47; 95% CI: 0.33–0.67) and living in rural areas (OR = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.25–0.97) were negatively associated with meeting the physical activity recommendations.
In the psychological, social, and environmental domains, significant correlates of attaining the recommended level of physical activity were observed. Men and women had different patterns of psychological, social, and environmental correlates. These findings suggest that an intervention design that accounts for those correlates may more effectively promote physical activity among Japanese adults.