Objectives: There are many benefits of regular exercise. The aim of this study was to determine the exercise habits and knowledge of the benefits of exercise in a South Trinidad population. This study also sought to determine the motivating factors for exercise and the barriers experienced by those who did not exercise.
Subjects and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 700 persons between the ages of 15−75-years in Princes Town, South Trinidad. The exercise habits of the population, the effect of age on exercise and the impact of knowledge of benefits of exercise on the desire to participate in exercise were determined.
Results: Of the 66.6% (95% CI: 62.6, 70.3) respondents who exercised, only 10.7% exercised adequately. Walking was the main form of exercise (60.6%). Health reasons were cited as the major motivating factor for exercising in the 60−75-year age group. Persons 15−59 years indicated that time constraints were the major reason for not exercising. Most participants (77.2%) felt that the healthcare provider should advise on exercise. Knowledge of at least one benefit of exercise increased the likelihood of exercising (p < 0.0001). Younger persons were more likely to exercise at least once weekly than older persons (p = 0.0002).
Conclusion: A high proportion of persons do not exercise regularly or adequately and efforts are needed to encourage exercise in this population. This study suggests that encouragement should come from healthcare providers. Time management and accumulating daily exercise are two areas to consider when advising sedentary individuals about exercise.