Journal of sports sciences vol:15 issue:2 pages:151-165
The aims of this study were to assess why people do not participate in exercise and physical activity, and what might lead them to become active. More specifically, we focused on the hindrances to entering the phase of transition from a sedentary to a more active lifestyle by analysing the reasons 265 middle-aged Belgian adults gave for their inactivity. Their justifications were examined in relation to the conditions which they say would be needed for them to become more involved in regular physical activity. Factor analysis revealed that the reasons for inactivity referred to the adults' self-concept, to cognitive cost-benefit based processes and to negative emotions associated with exercise. The conditions reported to be necessary to begin exercising referred to a perceived decrease in health and to the appropriateness of the exercise offered. Discriminant analysis showed that 'never-exercisers' differed from 'ex-exercisers', and that within the subgroup of 'ex-exercisers' the long-term drop-outs differed from the recent drop-outs. Cluster analysis revealed three types of sedentary adults: the unconcerned, the opposed and the approachable.