The relationship between presence of exercise equipment in the home and physical activity level

John M. Jakicic, Rena R. Wing, Betsy A. Butler, Robert W. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined whether there was an association between the presence of exercise equipment in the home and an individual's self-reported level of physical activity. The results of this study suggest that there were significant, but weak, correlations between overall activity and number of pieces of exercise equipment in the home for women. When the age of the subject and the number of adults and children in the home were controlled for in the analyses, the relationship between physical activity and exercise equipment was significant, but weak, for men, women, and the total sample combined. Further, after controlling for age of the subject, and number of adults and children in the home, a statistically significant linear trend between the presence of exercise equipment in the home and physical activity was shown. According to behavioral principles and the stimulus control model, an increase in the amount of exercise equipment in the home should 'cue' an individual to exercise. If more individuals live in the home there may be more pieces of equipment available. Thus one might hypothesize that these individuals would exercise more because of the greater number of exercise 'cues' in their environment. However, these data suggest that the total amount of exercise equipment may not be as important as having the appropriate types of equipment available. The majority of the significant findings in this study were observed only after controlling for the age of the subjects and the number of individuals living in the home. This would suggest that exercise equipment that is specifically purchased by the individual in question or that the individual finds enjoyable may be the most effective for increasing physical activity. Thus future studies should attempt to match the individual to the appropriate exercise equipment and assess whether this is an effective strategy for increasing physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-365
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

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