Perceived barriers to leisure-time physical activity in adults: an ecological perspective

Ester Cerin, Evie Leslie, Takemi Sugiyama, Neville Owen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    122 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Perceived barriers are modifable correlates of participation in physical activity. Associations of specifc perceived barriers with participation in and level of walking for recreation, and other leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) were examined. Personal, social, and environmental factors associated with these perceived barriers were then examined. Methods: From 2003 to 2004, 2 surveys collected data on recreational walking and other LTPA, perceived barriers to participation, and personal, social, and environmental attributes, from 2194 Australian adults. Zero-infated negative binomial regression models examined associations of perceived barriers with walking and other LTPA. Generalized linear models identifed the correlates of these perceived barriers. Results: The perceived barriers of lack of motivation and time were associated with level of LTPA, while lack of motivation, poor health, and lack of facilities were associated with the odds of non participation in LTPA. Personal, social, and environmental factors independently contributed to variations in perceived barriers. Conclusions: Level and likelihood of participation in LTPA are associated with different perceived barriers. Perceived barriers are a function of both nonmodifable personal factors and potentially modifable personal, social, and environmental factors. These fndings suggest that the provision of relevant environmental opportunities and social support may effectively reduce perceived barriers to LTPA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-459
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


    • Adults
    • Australia
    • Ecological model of physical activity


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