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Arch Iran Med. 2010 Nov;13(6):528-36. doi: 010136/0014.

Physical activity among a sample of Iranians aged over 60 years: an application of the transtheoretical model.

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Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of major chronic disease, which contributes substantially to the global burden of disease, death and disability. This study examined physical activity in a randomly selected sample of elderly people in Tehran, Iran.


A random sample of 400 elderly people aged 60 years and over was selected through multistage sampling. A multi-sectional questionnaire that contained demographic characteristics, physical activity knowledge, benefits, barriers, self-efficacy, and readiness stage was used. Physical activity was measured by questions retrieved from the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly.


This study showed knowledge, perceived benefits, and self-efficacy could predict physical activity stage of change (P<0.001). Sixty-two percent of participants reported laziness as the most important barrier for not engaging in physical activity. Meeting new people (74%), having fun (71.8%), and contacting friends (67.73%) were the most prevalent reasons for participating in physical activity.


According to this study, individuals with higher knowledge, perceived benefits and self-efficacy were more likely to engage in physical activity. Furthermore, those who perceived lower barriers towards this behavior were more physically active.

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