Document Type : Original Article


Departments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Purpose: This study has been conducted to identify the roles of self-efficacy, benefits of and
barriers to physical activity, and its relationship with physical activity in male and female high
school students in the city of Izeh, Iran. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive
analytical study, 500 students (200 boys and 300 girls) from high schools of Izeh city during the
period 2011-2012 were chosen using the multistage random sampling method. The data for this
study was acquired through a multisectional questionnaire that included sections as follows:
Demographic characteristics, self-efficacy, and perceived benefits and barriers. The gathered
data was then studied and analyzed. Statistical tests such as independent t-tests, Spearman’s
correlation, Pearson’s correlation coefficient and linear regression were used to interpret and
analyze the data. Results: Data analysis showed that the mean age of male participants was
15.67 ± 0.95 years and females 15.86 ± 1.16 years. The average weekly time of physical activity
in male students was 424.74 ± 158.48 min and in females 186.63 ± 90.59 min. The mean scores
for self-efficacy and perceived benefits of physical activity were significantly higher in boys as
compared to girls. There was a positive and significant correlation between the mean scores for
perceived self-efficacy and the weekly time in male students spent on physical activity as well as the
mean scores for perceived benefits and the weekly time spent on physical activity in both genders.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that many factors influence students’ physical
activity; however, the role of these factors is not identical in the two genders. An understanding
of these factors helps educationalists and other health experts design appropriate interventions.


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