Arch Hellen Med, 36(1), January-February 2019, 81-87
Association of socioeconomic factors and motives with the level of physical activity of young Athenian adults
Z. Dimitriadis, E. Alexandridis, C. Fragkou, D. Tsimpinoudakis, G. Petta
OBJECTIVE Investigation of the association of socioeconomic characteristics and motives with the level of physical activity of young Athenian adults.
METHOD The participants in this study were 117 Athens residents, aged 18–35 years. The participants completed a general questionnaire on their demographic and socioeconomic situation, and three instruments designed to record physical activity and motives: The Assessment Scale for Completion of Usual Physical Activities (ASCUPA), the Short Scale of Physical Activity Motives (SSPAM) and the Baecke Questionnaire for Habitual Physical Activities (BQHPA).
RESULTS The social insurance coverage, the type of job and the opinion about the facilities for exercise in Athens were identified as parameters which are significantly correlated (p<0.05), and predictive of the physical activity level (R=0.54, R2=0.29, adjusted R2=0.27, p<0.001). The improvement of physical condition was the most frequently reported motive for physical activity. Appearance, enjoyment, personal improvement and professional/economic reasons were the motives which correlated with the level of physical activity (p<0.05), and which remained as significant predictors in the multiple regression model (R=0.45, R2=0.21, adjusted R2=0.18, p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS Social insurance coverage, type of job, the opinion about the appropriateness of the facilities in Athens for physical activity and the motives for physical activity, including appearance, enjoyment, personal improvement and professional/economic reasons, are predictive of the physical activity level of young adult residents of Athens. The understanding of the socioeconomic parameters and motives correlated with the physical activity level of young adults could form the basis for the design of appropriate governmental and individual strategies for the improvement in physical activity, and thus in health, leading to the potential reduction of medical costs.
Key words: Athens, Motives, Physical activity, Socioeconomic factors.