Tijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie vol:19 issue:6 pages:289-95
In any preventive health care program for middle aged adults and elderly people, the promotion of physical fitness activities has become an item of priority. However, the increased awareness of the importance of being physically fit is in contrast with the limited number of adults actually involved in physical fitness activities. This study focuses on the reasons for in-activity as well as on the perceived motivation to participate in a fitness program. Health was found, as expected, to be the most important motive to start participation in a physical fitness program. Even most of the non-active adults believed that for health reasons they should exercise regularly. Reasons for inactivity included fatigue and lack of energy, lack of time (other things are more important and enjoyable), inadequate facilities, experiencing no health difficulties which would indicate the need for exercise, the implications for their lifestyle and fear of potential health hazards associated with physical fitness activities. Adherence to habitual physical activity was motivated by social support and socializing opportunities and the experience of relaxation, recreation and relief of tension. The discrepancy between knowing about health and fitness and really participating in a fitness program is interpreted in terms of cognitive processes, behaviour modification and changing health life-styles.