Barriers to exercise and the use of monitoring methods during weight reduction programs in obese women
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Purpose: The aetiology of obesity is evidently multifaceted, but ultimately is determined by increases in energy intake, decreases in energy expenditure, or a combination of both. Therefore, it seems logical that the combination of diet plus exercise is recommended for obese individual’s wanting to lose weight (Wing, 1999). Self-monitoring is also known for its capacity in changing diet behaviour but few studies have addressed the efficacy of self-monitoring in changing exercise behaviour (Noland, 1989). The purpose of this study is to identify barriers to exercise and investigate the difference in perceived success on weight reduction programs and monitoring methods in obese women. Method: The study consisted of 81 obese (Body Mass Index > 30) female participants, ranging in age from 19 to 52 years (34.2 ± 9.54). All subjects completed the 'Barriers to Exercise' and 'Success to a Calorie-Controlled Diet and Exercise' questionnaires (Appendix C and D respectively) designed by the author; reporting the number and strength of barriers towards exercise and perceived success in overcoming the exercise barriers, adherence to exercise and weight loss in the last two years. Dependant on responses from the 'Success to a Calorie-Controlled Diet and Exercise' questionnaire, participants were categorised into one of three weight reduction programs, one of three self-monitoring groups, and one of nine combined conditions of a weight reduction program plus a self-monitoring method. Results: Lack of motivation was found to be the most frequent (84%) exercise barrier experienced by the total sample. One-way ANOVA’s indicated significant differences (p < 0.05) were found in the dependent variables between the weight reduction programs, and no significant differences (p > 0.05) were revealed in the dependent variables between the self-monitoring methods; both with the exceptions of adherence to exercise. No significant differences were found between the combined effect of weight reduction programs and self-monitoring conditions in adherence to exercise (p = 0.072) and program length (p = 0.184), however significant differences were revealed for weight loss (p = 0.034) and overcoming barriers (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The intricacy of the factors involved in this study has proven problematical in defining a clear, concise conclusion. Even though all results were not found to be statistically significant, this may be due to a small sample size or measuring perceptions rather than actual success. Nonetheless, combined with past research, recommendations to produce optimum weight loss, adherence to exercise and reduce number of barriers to exercise would be, to employ motivational strategies while on a calorie-controlled diet and exercise plus objective self-monitoring weight reduction program. To better define strategies and interventions in the treatment of obesity, it is necessary to further research weight reduction programs and self-monitoring, measuring actual rather than perceived success.
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