Physical Activity & Exercise in AD Female Soldiers


Name: Laura Brosch

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA

Year Published: 1998

Abstract Status: Initial


The purpose of this study is to systematically determine the extent to which active duty service women engage in physical activity and participate in habitual exercise and to identify the factors influencing that participation. Pender's Health Promotion Model provides the framework for the study's conceptualization of these factors, as individual characteristics, cognitions and interpersonal influences, and their effects on physical activity and exercise participation. The specific aims of this study are to (1) describe physical activity levels and exercise participation in a sample of female soldiers, (2) determine what proportion of these soldiers engage in sufficient physical activity and exercise to reap the long-term health benefits and/or pass the APFT, (3) identify which factors are associated with activity and habitual exercise and the relationships among the factors, and (4) uncover issues and perceptions surrounding exercise participation among subgroups of the population at-risk for low participation. A cross-sectional, descriptive correlational design is used to address the first three aims of the study, while the qualitative method of focus-group interviews examines the fourth aim. Potential subjects will include all active duty female soldiers assigned to units at Ft. Lewis, WA and Madigan Army Medical Center. Each subject will complete an initial survey and APFT scores will be obtained for each service member consenting to be in the study. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe the sample and study factors while structural equation modeling will be used to define the relationships among the hypothesized factors. Focus groups will then explore the issues among subjects identified as belonging to subgroups at-risk for low exercise participation. This data will be analyzed by content analysis using Ethnograph software. The ultimate aim of this study is to produce information that can be used to improve the health of female soldiers, as a basis for future studies developing and testing interventions targeted to increase exercise participation among military women.