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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


RODRIGUEZ-ROMO, Gabriel; BONED-PASCUAL, Carlos  and  GARRIDO-MUNOZ, María. Reasons for and barriers to exercising and sports participation in Madrid. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.3, pp.244-254. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To analyze the motivators and barriers to physical activity and sports among the population of metropolitan Madrid, as well as any correlations with gender, age, and social status. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of a sample of 625 individuals whose data were representative of the whole population, with a + 4% margin of error and a 95.5% confidence interval (95%CI). The sampling type selected was multistage, utilizing an ad hoc questionnaire. RESULTS: The most frequently cited motivations for exercising were: for fun (29.9%), to stay in shape (26.4%), and health (16.1%), differing according to gender (χ2(8) = 19.635; P = 0.009; 95%CI: 0.007-0.011) and age (χ2(32) = 55.671; P = 0.006; 95%CI: 0.005-0.0080). With regard to activity cessation, the demands of work and family (24.1%) and lack of time (22.2%) were the most common reasons, correlating with age (χ2(24) = 36.955; P = 0.041; 95%CI: 0.037-0.044) and slightly with gender (χ2(6) = 11.753; P = 0.069; 95%CI: 0.063-0.074). The reasons most often cited for never exercising were lack of time (24.4%) and not enjoying it (24.4%), uncorrelated with any of the study variables. CONCLUSIONS: Among the study sample, the purpose of sports and exercise was for fun and recreation, aimed at maintaining and improving health and acquiring an attractive figure. Motivators driving activity and discontinuation were correlated with age and gender. Conversely, the reasons for never exercising were independent of the study variables.

Keywords : Physical activity; exercise; motivation; sports; life style; health behavior; Spain.

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