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Maintaining Regular Physical Activity in Women: Evidence to Date

Speck, Barbara J. PhD, RN; Harrell, Joanne S. PhD, RN, FAAN

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: September-October 2003 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 282–293
Continuing Education

Physical activity is well established as a primary health promotion and cardiovascular disease prevention behavior, yet over 60% of the population does not participate in regular physical activity. Maintenance of regular physical activity is a complex behavior influenced by variables from several domains. This review includes studies of the relationship between physical activity in women and psychological, social environmental, demographic, physiologic, health status, and physical activity variables. A key issue in physical activity research is development of interventions for maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Interventions for maintenance of regular physical activity that have a strong theoretical basis will be beneficial to women in primary care settings, occupational settings, wellness centers as well as public health departments and other organizations that address the needs of women.

From the School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. (Speck)

The School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. (Harrell)

Partially sponsored by a Traineeship Award from the University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention's Cooperative Agreement Number 48/CCU409660, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Corresponding author: Barbara J. Speck, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292 (e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.