Background: Poor recognition of physical inactivity may be an important barrier to healthy behaviour change, but little is known about this phenomenon. We aimed to characterize a high-risk population according to the discrepancies between objective and self-rated physical activity (PA), defined as awareness.Methods: An exploratory cross-sectional analysis of PA awareness using baseline data collected from 365 ProActive participants between 2001 and 2003 in East Anglia, England. Self-rated PA was defined as 'active' or 'inactive' (assessed via questionnaire). Objective PA was defined according to achievement of guideline activity levels (≥30 minutes or <30 minutes spent at least moderate intensity PA, assessed by heart rate monitoring). Four awareness groups were created: 'Realistic Actives', 'Realistic Inactives', 'Overestimators' and 'Underestimators'. Logistic regression was used to assess associations between awareness group and 17 personal, social and biological correlates.Results: 63.3% of participants (N = 231) were inactive according to objective measurement. Of these, 45.9% rated themselves as active ('Overestimators'). In a multiple logistic regression model adjusted for age and smoking, males (OR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.12, 3.98), those with lower BMI (OR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.84, 0.95), younger age at completion of full-time education (OR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.74, 0.93) and higher general health perception (OR = 1.02 CI = 1.00, 1.04) were more likely to overestimate their PA.Conclusions: Overestimation of PA is associated with favourable indicators of relative slimness and general health. Feedback about PA levels could help reverse misperceptions.
|Journal||International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Sep 2010|