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Maturitas. 2007 Sep 20;58(1):1-6. Epub 2007 May 29.

Exercise self-efficacy of postmenopausal women resident in the tropics.

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Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, James Cook University, Australia.



Weight gain and the associated increased risk of coronary artery disease are associated with the postmenopausal period. However, moderate intensity physical activity may be cardioprotective in this period. Australian women remain predominately sedentary despite the health benefits of regular exercise. Self-efficacy is an important predictor of exercise behaviour influencing exercise adoption when faced with potential barriers. Determination of exercise self-efficacy levels and the most significant barriers to exercise is necessary for the success of intervention programs for this population.


Postmenopausal women (N=101) resident in tropical North Queensland were recruited via announcements in local media, service club newsletters and electronic bulletin boards. Following data collection, participants were categorised as exercisers (n=53) or non-exercisers (n=48) based on whether they had performed a minimum of 150 min of accumulated moderate intensity exercise in the past 7 days. Exercise self-efficacy was determined via questionnaire.


Results indicated that exercisers had a higher level of exercise self-efficacy and felt significantly more confident to exercise when faced with barriers compared to non-exercisers (p<.001). Discriminant function analysis found that exercise self-efficacy provided the greatest discrimination between exercisers and non-exercisers. The barrier items of conflicting schedules, difficulty getting to an exercise location and the weather were the main contributors to discrimination between exercisers and non-exercisers.


Findings suggest that future intervention programs should aim to increase exercise self-efficacy and address these barriers so that more postmenopausal women resident in North Queensland can obtain the health benefits of exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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