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Variables contributing to exercise/physical activity in adults

Discuss about the Effect of certified personal trainer services.

Physical activity and exercise can involve a range of activities (such as walking, running, cycling, housework, swimming, sports or any other forms of physical activities) at various levels of intensities (like light, moderate or vigorous), depending upon how hard the body works during the activity, and thus the amount of energy spent during it (healthyweight.health.gov.au, 2018). An inadequate amount of physical exercise or activity is associated with a inactive lifestyle, it is also understood to increase the risk factors of different diseases.

According to the Australian Heart Foundation, 65.3% of Australians over the age of 15 years has a sedentary lifestyle, as of 2014/15 (heartfoundation.org.au, 2018). This increases the risks of several diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension among the population. This highlights the necessity of identifying the various factors that contributes to physical activity and exercise, which can be useful for planning effective interventions and strategies for the improvement in physical exercise among adults. Some of the most significant factors that contribute to physical exercise have been discussed below, supported by evidences from studies.

Fischer and Bryant (2008) analysed the effect of Certified Personal Trainer Services (CPTS) as well as external mediators among female students in colleges. In the study the CPTS was provided by two female college students who were certified as personal trainers, having experience of 2 years). The services provided fitness programs, which involved training in exercise techniques, providing personal training in the form of personal sessions as well as group sessions. The authors studied this variable to understand if the CPTS can improve exercise behaviour among the students, and thus help to analyse its efficacy to be incorporated to intervention strategies for improving physical exercise.

The study involved 449 female students, who participated in surveys, while 62 students were divided in 2 groups for the study. The experimental group (n=31) got Certified Personal Trainer Services during the fall semester (between the first and last weeks), while the control group (n=31) did not receive CPTS. The authors used a possible, pretest-posttest quasiexperimental design to study the effect of CPTS on the number of participants who were exercising on or above the recommended levels at the starting of the semester, compared to the fall semester’s end. The authors also assessed differences in cognition and behavioural processes of changes, decision making, balance, coping, scheduling and task self efficacies which are known to mediate behaviours related to physical activities and exercise.

Effect of Certified Personal Trainer on physical exercise

The participants consisted of female college students. The number of college students who completed the questionnaires from the first to last week were 449, out of which 62 students were selected, divided in to experiment group (n=31) who were given CPTS and control group (n=31) who did not get CPTS.

The results of the study showed that in the control group, factors such as cognitive and behavioural process of change, self efficacy, scheduling and decisional balance showed significant decrease, while in the experimental group; these factors did not show any statistical difference.

Study by TerAvest (2016) analysed how motivational climate in an exercise setting can improve the levels of exercise among the participants. The study involved workshops for fitness professionals in the improvement of the motivational environment in the exercise settings. The workshop involved presentation of theories from researches on motivation and climate, and the participants were asked to complete a workshop questionnaire. The study showed that educating of motivation can improve the exercise behaviour among the clients of the participants. This points out that an environment that is supportive and motivational can foster an improvement in physical activity among adults.

McClaran (2003) studied the effuicacy of personal training in the changing the mindset on physical activity among 129 participants between the age of 20 and 65 years. The participants were assigned for a 10 week program under a university senior personal trainer. In the initial (self) assessment, the stage of motivational readiness for adopting of exercise was measured, and profiled as Pre contemplation (no intention to make change), contemplation (planning for change), preparation (getting ready for a change), action (actively participating in the change process) and maintenance (continuing the change with time). The study showed that at the end of the program, 60% of the participants moved up by one stage, 13% moved up by 2 stages, 26% stayed at the same stage, and only 1% moved down a stage. This showed that training can be positively correlated in the improvement in the motivational readiness for adopting physical exercise.

Seguin et al. (2013) studied the impact of strength training on physical exercise behaviour in midlife and older women in rural areas. The authors used a Strong Women Program (which is a 10 week training, done twice a week on strength training) for 341 women (12 to 62 years age). At the completion of the 10 week exercise routine, the authors saw a significant improvement in physical activity behaviours. This shows that strength training can improve exercise behaviour among these individuals.

Additional Studies:

Social support of Community Support Groups can be understood as networks that can provide supporting relationships for behavioural changes (for example setting up buddy system, or other groups to provide support to individuals) (thecommunityguide.org, 2018). Social support fosters the perception of care for an individual, and includes people within the support network. The individuals providing social support can do so in the form of emotional, tangible, informational, or intangible services, and therefore forms a part of the public aid group.

Craven et al. (2018) suggested that social support is an important factor that can help to foster positive health behaviours like an increase in physical activity. The authors selected 203 men from Puerto Rican and Mexican ethnicities in USA. The authors based their study on two models, namely the buffer hypothesis (which states social support provides protection from the negative effects of stressful incidents) and the stress and coping theory (which states that support can be given in the form of encouragement as well as through the perception of the availability of support). Social support system can help to provide motivation to individuals, as well as help to foster a perception of the availability of help. This can be useful to increase positive behaviour such as exercise behaviour among individuals.

Smith et al. (2017) studied the relation between social support systems and physical activity among elderly adults. The authors posit from their study that physical activity can be improved among older adults though social support (as a social determinant of health). The authors perform a qualitative study of literature, to analyse the relation between social support, physical activity and loneliness among older adults. The results from their analysis showed that an increased social support for physical activity increased the probability of physical activity at leisure times, especially when the social support comes from family members. This study shows that by increasing social support and enabling support from family members can help to improve physical activity among individuals, especially older adults.

Different technological advancements are applicable for the improvement and maintenance of physical activity levels among adults. Technologies or devices such as: pedometers, accelerometers, heart rate monitors, combined monitoring (heart rate and accelerometer) Smartphone applications and interactive video games can be useful to aid physical activity and training (humankinetics.com, 2018)

Du et al., (2016) studied the effects of based mobile applications to understand compliance to exercise and nutrition routines. The authors tried to explore whether adherence to wellness programs (that focused on improve physical activity and nutrition) can be improved through social support, and if adherence to the wellness programs can be improved through the usage of mobile applications. The study analysed 124 volunteers above the age of 18 years, who were interested in improving their physical activities and eating behaviour. The study was conducted for 8 weeks. The experimental group were supported with a mobile app that allowed an accurate report and tracking of health behaviour) while the control group did not get the app support. The study showed that the mobile app was related to an improvement in the adherence to the wellness programs.

Effect of Social Support/Community Support on physical exercise:

Triantafyllidis et al. (2018) analysed the effect of computerised assisted systems that is increased with sensors such as cameras and heart rate monitors on the adoption of exercise programs. Their results showed that computer assisted technologies can help to improve adherence of exercise programs, by fostering an easy and enjoyable execution of the program by the patient group. This showed that through the use of technologies, the exercise programs can become simpler to follow by individuals, therefore improving the activity levels. The authors suggested that the effective automated system should consist of the following components: 1) motion tracking, 2) heart rate monitoring 3) exercise type monitoring and 4) exertion and enjoyment monitoring.

Conclusion:

From the above studies, different variables can be identified which can affect the levels of physical activity or exercise among adults. Studies by Fischer and Bryant (2008) showed that the presence of a personal trainer can help in the maintenance of physical activity levels, which was also supported by the studies by TerAvest (2016), Seguin et al. (2013) and McClaran (2003) which showed that physical activity trainers can help to increase motivation for physical exercises thereby causing an improvement in physical activity among individuals. Other factors that also influence physical activity includes social and community support (Craven et al., 2018; Smith et al., 2017) and technology (Du et al., 2016; Triantafyllidis et al., 2018). Based on such information, it can thus be proposed that effective interventions to improve physical activity among clients can incorporate physical activity trainers, a motivational exercise setup, presence of social and community support and the usage of technology.

References:

Craven, M. R., Keefer, L., Rademaker, A., Dykema-Engblade, A., & Sanchez-Johnsen, L. (2018). Social Support for Exercise as a Predictor of Weight and Physical Activity Status Among Puerto Rican and Mexican Men: Results From the Latino Men’s Health Initiative. American journal of men's health, 1557988318754915.

Du, H., Venkatakrishnan, A., Youngblood, G. M., Ram, A., & Pirolli, P. (2016). A group-based mobile application to increase adherence in exercise and nutrition programs: a factorial design feasibility study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(1).

Fischer, D. V., & Bryant, J. (2008). Effect of certified personal trainer services on stage of exercise behavior and exercise mediators in female college students. Journal of American College Health, 56(4), 369-376.

healthyweight.health.gov.au (2018), Levels of physical activity intensity, Retrieved on: 14 May, 2018, from: https://healthyweight.health.gov.au/wps/portal/Home/get-informed/physical-activity-and-sedentary-behaviour/levels-of-physical-activity-intensity/!ut/p/a1/jZDBDoIwDIafhQdYVgYBPCIYNyNcjBF3MVOnLMFB2CTBpxe5GpGe2uT70vbHHBeYa9Gpu7Cq1qL6zDw4UbJaucR32TrYJMDCKI-y3CU7zxuA4wAk65j64RYA_IgAS5c0DRcZAAvm-fCjYvjnb2YsIG2WZHfMG2FLpPStxkVT9kZdRIXExapO2R4JfUVGXqW2ou3RWZZDDPWzxUUlO1kZVN_Qt6S0ldoMHT5gPl4ylcQITLzaPPbFa0tBxY7zBlWAShY!/dl5/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

heartfoundation.org.au (2018), Level of exercise statistics, Retreieved on: 14 May, 2018., from: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/heart-disease-in-australia/level-of-exercise-statistics

humankinetics.com (2018), Using technology to promote physical activity, retrieved on: 14 May, 2018., from: https://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/using-technology-to-promote-physical-activity

McClaran, S. R. (2003). The effectiveness of personal training on changing attitudes towards physical activity. Journal of sports science & medicine, 2(1), 10.

Seguin, R. A., Eldridge, G., Lynch, W., & Paul, L. C. (2013). Strength training improves body image and physical activity behaviors among midlife and older rural women. Journal of extension, 51(4).

Smith, G. L., Banting, L., Eime, R., O’Sullivan, G., & van Uffelen, J. G. (2017). The association between social support and physical activity in older adults: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 56.

springer.com (2018), springer.com, retrieved on 14 May, 2018 from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-014-0142-5

TerAvest, K. (2016). From Theory to Practice: A Workshop for Enhancing Motivational Climate in an Excercise Setting(Doctoral dissertation, Department of Kinesiology, Sonoma State University).

thecommunityguide.org (2018), Physical Activity: Social Support Interventions in Community Settings., Retrieved on: 14 May, 2018., from: https://www.thecommunityguide.org/findings/physical-activity-social-support-interventions-community-settings

Triantafyllidis, A., Filos, D., Buys, R., Claes, J., Cornelissen, V., Kouidi, E., ... & Maglaveras, N. (2018). A Computer-Assisted System with Kinect Sensors and Wristband Heart Rate Monitors for Group Classes of Exercise-Based Rehabilitation. In Precision Medicine Powered by pHealth and Connected Health (pp. 237-241). Springer, Singapore.

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