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Facing multiple barriers to exercise: Does stronger efficacy help individuals with arthritis?

October 22, 2018 — 

Inactive people living with arthritis are more likely to benefit from, and adhere to, a regular fitness regimen if the exercise is specifically tailored.  

The findings were published in the Oct. edition of Applied Psychology Health and Well-Being in a paper co-authored by associate professor of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Dr Shaelyn Strachan.

Dr Shaelyn Strachan

“Our research shows that people who have low confidence in their ability to manage their physical activity are less likely to persist at their exercise in the face of multiple, highly challenging day-to-day barriers and represent a group who could be targeted for intervention,” says Strachan.

“For example, training in problem-solving, reframing challenges and self-monitoring should help this sub-group of people with arthritis to successfully engage in the physical activity that can offer them wide-reaching benefits.”

Research about exercise adherence amongst adults with arthritis has been largely correlational. The study used an experimental design to test the social cognitive theory premise that high self‐efficacy (a person’s belief in his/her ability to achieve goals) helps to overcome challenging barriers to action.

Experimental support was obtained for the premise that when facing the greatest barrier challenge, individuals highest in self‐regulatory efficacy still view exercise as possible. 




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