Adherence to a strength training intervention in adult women

J Phys Act Health. 2011 Jan;8(1):111-8.


Background: The factors influencing exercise adherence are not well characterized in women in their premenopausal years.

Methods: The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of demographic factors contributing to women's adherence to a 2-year twice-weekly weight training intervention. Overweight and obese premenopausal women were randomized to a control or intervention group.

Results: During the supervised period of the intervention (months 1 to 4), adherence was significantly lower among those with a higher level of education and among unmarried women with children aged 6 to 12 compared with married women without children (F = 4.83, P = .004). Overall adherence during the supervised and unsupervised periods was 95.4% and 64.5%, respectively (unadjusted mean). During year 1, white women were significantly more adherent to the intervention (70.3%) than women of color (48.6%). Non-married women with children 13 years or older were significantly less adherent than married women with children 5 years or younger (36.3% versus 75.4%, respectively, P < .007). Overall adherence was 51.4% in year 2.

Conclusions: Interventions and public health recommendations need to further consider how to engage communities to provide effective support for long-term adherence to fitness center based exercise of all women, regardless of demographics.

Keywords: exercise; health behavior; intervention study; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Community Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Community Participation / trends
  • Family Characteristics
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Fitness Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Resistance Training / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors