Physical activity and its predictors among older Thai adults


  • Wannipa Asawachisuwikrom


Aged, Health and hygiene, Adulthood, Health behavior


            The purpose of this study was to determine how well the behavior-specific cognitions (perceived benefits, perceived barriers, self-efficacy, family support, neighborhood environment, and convenient facilities) and personal factors (gender, income, and education) predicted physical activity in older Thai adults. The Physical Activity Promotion Model (PAPM) guiding this study was adapted from Pender’s (1996) revised Health Promotion Model and the findings of a literature review. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select eight villages from two sub-districts located in Chonburi Province, Thailand. The data were collected from 112 non-institutionalized Thai women and men aged 60 years and older using face-to face interview. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that the six behavior-specific cognitions accounted for about 40% (adjusted R2 = .40, p<.05) of the variability in physical activity, while the nine variables together explained 50% (adjusted R2 = .50, p<.05) of the variance in physical activity. Only four variables (income, perceived barriers, neighborhood environment, and convenient facilities) were significant predictors of physical activity. Although perceived benefits, self-efficacy, family support, gender, and education were not significant predictors, a conclusion that these variables do not play important roles in physical activity would be premature because so few studies of these factors were conducted with older Thai adults. Further research in this field remains to be done to determine if the findings of this study are consistent in this population.