Relationships between exercise self‐definitions and exercise participation among urban women in primary care

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6 Scopus citations


Exercising prevents the development of coronary artery disease and reduces the incidence of cardiovascular risk factors; however, the mechanisms that underlie participation in an exercise program are not well understood. On the basis of theories of the self, we hypothesized that exercise self-definitions would be significantly related to exercise participation and that such definitions would increase over time. The study sample consisted of 192 middle-aged to older women who were leading a mostly sedentary life and the majority had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Exercise participation was defined as the number of exercise sessions completed at 8 and 24 weeks. We found an interesting pattern of significant relationships between exercise definitions and exercise participation. Six-month scores were significantly higher than baseline scores, suggesting that exercise self-definitions strengthened over time. If this result is found to be supported in future studies, nurses may want to consider assessing self-definitions when helping patients initiate and maintain an exercise program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005



  • Exercise
  • Exercise self-definition
  • Physical activity
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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