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Health Services Research & Development

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2005 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract

3026 — Physical Activity Levels and Barriers Among Patients Enrolled in a VA Weight Management Program

Author List:
Kahwati LC (VA National Center for Prevention)
Kinsinger LS (VA National Center for Prevention)
Harvey RT (VA National Center for Prevention)
Zele V (VA National Center for Prevention)
Straits-Troster KA (VA National Center for Prevention)
Jones KR (VA National Center for Prevention)
Orelien JG (VA National Center for Prevention)
Kirkendall D (VA National Center for Prevention)
Burdick MB (VA National Center for Prevention)
Yevich SJ (VA National Center for Prevention)

Overweight and obesity are major concerns for VHA where prevalence is approximately 70%. Increasing physical activity is integral to weight management. MOVE! (Managing Overweight/obesity in Veterans Everywhere) is an evidence-based weight management program that incorporates a computerized assessment with tailored feedback and continual follow-up. We assessed the relationship between baseline physical activity levels and self-reported barriers to increasing activity among veterans enrolled in MOVE!

Overweight and obese veterans were enrolled at 17 primary care pilot sites. Participants’ baseline activity and self-reported barriers to increasing activity were assessed. Logistic regression was used to characterize the relationship between barriers and physical inactivity (<3 times/week).

351 veterans have enrolled in MOVE! to date (81.3% male). 63.3% reported exercising < 3 times/week. The most common perceived barriers to increasing activity were pain (46.7%), daily habits that do not include exercise (41.6%), illness or disability (34.8%), stress/depression (33.6%), and being too tired (31.3%). Musculoskeletal conditions (arthritis/joint problems, back pain) were the most common illness barriers. Previously reported barriers such as not enough time, limited money, poor social support, and environmental factors (e.g. no safe place to walk) were endorsed infrequently (< 20%). In multivariate analyses, subjects reporting daily habits that do not include exercise were 3 times as likely to be physically inactive compared to subjects who did not report this barrier (OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.86, 5.47). Job schedule (OR 2.57 [1.16, 5.72]) and illness (OR 1.92 [1.10, 3.33]) were also associated with physical inactivity. Subjects who reported pain (OR 0.88 [0.52, 3.33]) or stress/depression (OR 0.64 [0.38, 3.29]) as barriers were no more likely to be physically inactive than those who did not report these barriers.

Physical activity levels are low among overweight/obese veterans enrolling in MOVE! Inability to fit physical activity into daily routines and around job schedules are the barriers most strongly associated with inactivity. Though commonly reported as barriers to increasing activity by veterans, pain and stress/depression were not associated with physical inactivity.

Identifying ways to help overweight/obese veterans incorporate physical activity into daily routines may improve success with weight management.

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