Exercise behaviour change in 40 to 65-year-old women : the SWEAT study (sedentary women exercise adherence trial)

Kay Cox, T.J. Gorely, Ian Puddey, Valerie Burke, Lawrence Beilin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between self-reported psychological processes and changes in exercise behaviour in an 18-month longitudinal stage-based intervention trial in 115 initially sedentary women aged 40-65 years.Design. A two-way factorial design was usedMethods. Participants were assigned randomly to either moderate or vigorous and either home or centre-based exercise. After six months, all participants exercised at home. Participants completed questionnaires at baseline, six, 12 and 18 months which assessed stage of exercise behaviour, self-efficacy, decisional balance and processes of change.Results. 28 patterns of stage change were identified across the 18 months with 6.1% remaining sedentary and 45% demonstrating linear movement from contemplation to action to maintenance to continued maintenance. Two interpretable clusters were identified within both the contemplation (at baseline) and action (at six months) stages. Cluster membership, however, did not influence behaviour change. For participants demonstrating a linear pattern of change, self-efficacy for overcoming barriers and behavioural processes increased from contemplation to action. Self-efficacy for exercise competence increased from contemplation to action but was more pronounced for the vigorous exercise groups. Decisional balance showed a three-way interaction and there was no change for experimental processes. There was no change in any variable from action to maintenance.Conclusions. The intervention was seen to be effective regardless of location or intensity of exercise. The relevance of substages is questionable in stage-based interventions as women with a profile suggesting less readiness to change or sustain change were just as likely to adopt or maintain exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-495
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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