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cognitive appraisal, elderly, hypertension, motivation, physical activity, previous exercise experience



  1. Lee , Young-Shin
  2. Laffrey, Shirley Cloutier


Background: Physical activity (PA) is effective in controlling blood pressure (BP) and is important in the treatment and prevention of hypertension in the elderly. Reasons for engaging in regular PA are complex and are influenced by personal, interpersonal, and environmental factors.


Objective: To test a predictive model of PA in older adults with borderline hypertension.


Methods: Data were collected from a multiethnic nonprobability sample of 267 men and women 60-75 years of age. The predictor variables were gender, ethnicity, income, previous exercise experience, self-efficacy for PA, perceived health status, awareness of BP, barriers to PA, intrinsic motivation for health, motivation for PA, interpersonal influence, and environmental influence.


Results: The hypothesized model was tested and modified using path analysis. The final model explained 44% of the variance in PA. The variables that directly predicted PA were gender, income, previous exercise experience, self-efficacy for PA, and motivation for PA. Variables that indirectly predicted PA were perceived health status, barriers to PA, self-efficacy for PA, intrinsic motivation for health, and environmental influence.


Conclusions: The significant associations between the cognitive appraisal and motivation concepts extend previous research and add to the understanding of the complex factors that influence regular PA. The PA model can be a foundation for further research and practice.