Physical activity and health-related fitness among Chinese older women: A test of self-determination theory

Shebe Siwei XU, Kiko LEUNG, Thomson Wai Lung Wong, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, King Chung Derwin CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Regular physical activity (PA) contributes to maintaining health and improving the quality of life among older people. This cross-sectional study investigates the associations between motivations derived from self-determination theory (SDT) and physical activity levels, as well as health-related fitness indices, in older Chinese women. We recruited 92 retired older women (range: 60–85 years; mean age ± SD: 71.74 ± 5.39 years) from Hong Kong, China. We assessed participants' motivations (autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and amotivation) using the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire, and measured their moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and weekly walking using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. We also evaluated body fat (fat mass, fat percentage, and visceral fat) using the Tanita SC240MA, flexibility with the Back Scratch Test and Chair Sit-and-Reach Test, and muscle strength using the Five-Times Sit-to-Stand Test and "Timed Up and Go" Test. We analyzed the data using partial-least squares structural equation modeling with Warp PLS 8.0 software. The results showed that autonomous motivation was significantly and positively related to walking (β =.24, p <.01) and MVPA (β =.23, p <.01); controlled motivation was negatively associated with walking (β = -.26, p <.01) and positively associated with MVPA (β =.21, p <.05); and amotivation was significantly and negatively associated with walking and MVPA (β = -.17, p <.05; β = -.16, p <.05). The results also generally suggest that a higher PA level is linked to better health-related fitness. However, the expected indirect effects of motivation on health-related fitness outcomes were not statistically significant. Our results support SDT in explaining older women's participation in physical activity. Although physically active older women were more likely to be physically fitter, motivation in physical activity did not exert significant indirect effects on all health-related fitness outcomes. Copyright © 2023 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
JournalAsian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume3
Issue number2
Early online dateAug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Citation

Xu, S. S., Leung, K., Wong, T. W. L., Chung, K. H. K., & Chan, D. K. C.(2023). Physical activity and health-related fitness among Chinese older women: A test of self-determination theory. Asian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 3(2), 107-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajsep.2023.08.00

Keywords

  • Self-determined theory
  • Physical activity
  • Older women
  • Health-related fitness

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