Development of a leisure time walking program based on the theory of planned behaviour stage 1: belief elicitation and evaluation

Substantial evidence associates physical inactivity with the development of several chronic diseases and premature mortality. Conversely, extensive research indicates physical activity helps prevent cardiovascular disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other conditions. Despite this information, about 57% of adult Canadians do not meet the minimal requirements for physical activity, and half of those who begin a regular physical regimen drop the activity within six months. The overwhelming majority of Canadians — more than 70% — choose walking as their preferred physical activity during leisure time. Dr. Ryan Rhodes is studying beliefs about leisure time walking. The research includes an initial study assessing physical activity beliefs and a second survey assessing actual time spent walking. Results from the research will be used to develop a provincial leisure time walking campaign for adults. Dr. Rhodes’ ultimate goal: developing effective campaigns for promoting physical activity in specific populations, such as middle-aged adults and older adults.