Objective: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Jamaica. Physical activity participation has positive effects on some risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Despite this, many remain physically inactive. This study examined factors (social support, exercise barriers, and benefits) associated with physical activity level in Jamaicans with cardiovascular disease.
Methods: A total of 158 adults (112 females, 46 males), mean age 51.7(15) years, were recruited from the medicine outpatient clinic of a large teaching hospital in Kingston, Jamaica over the period 2012 to 2015. Exercise barriers and benefits, social support for exercise and physical activity level were assessed using questionnaires. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationship between physical activity level in MET-minutes/week, social support, exercise barriers, and benefits. The relationship between the variables (social support, exercise barriers, and exercise benefits) and categories of physical activity level was also determined using a one way ANOVA. Statistical significance was determined by p < 0.05.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference between ‘family’ social support scores across the three categories of physical activity (low, moderate, high) (F = 3.919; p = 0.023). Perceived exercise barriers and benefits had no significant association with physical activity level.
Conclusion: These results indicate that physical activity promotion strategies aimed at persons with cardiovascular disease must consider the role of available social support.
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