Amount and Socio-Ecological Correlates of Exercise in Men and Women at Cardiac Rehabilitation Completion

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of the study was to describe (1) the amount of physical activity (PA) in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) graduates by sex, and (2) the correlates of their PA.

Design

Secondary analysis of baseline data from a randomized trial was undertaken. Graduates were recruited from three CR programs. Participants completed a questionnaire, which assessed constructs from the socio-ecological model (i.e., individual-level, social- and physical-environmental levels). Physical activity was measured objectively using an ActiGraph GT3X accelerometer. Multilevel modeling was performed.

Results

Two hundred fifty-five patients consented, of which 200 (78.4%) completed the survey and provided valid accelerometer data. Participants self-reported engaging in a mean ± standard deviation of 184.51 ± 129.10 min of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA) per week (with men engaging in more than women, P < 0.05). Accelerometer data revealed participants engaged in 169.65 ± 136.49 mins of MVPA per week, with 43 (25.1%) meeting recommendations. In the mixed models, the socio-ecological correlate significantly related to greater self-reported MVPA was self-regulation (P = 0.01); the correlate of accelerometer-derived MVPA was neighborhood aesthetics (P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Approximately one-quarter of CR program completers are achieving MVPA recommendations, although two-thirds perceive they are. The CR programs should exploit accelerometry and promote self-regulation skills, namely, self-monitoring, goal-setting, positive reinforcement, time management, and relapse prevention. Patients should be encouraged to exercise in pleasing locations.

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