An ecological framework including perceived health status for prediction of physical activity in Greek adults


  • Eleni Theodoropoulou School of Sport and Exercise Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Konstantinos Karteroliotis National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Introduction: This cross-sectional study examined an ecological framework including personal, health, psychosocial, and environmental determinants for prediction of physical activity (PA) in Greek adults. Material and Methods: The sample consisted of 684 physically active participants from the Municipality of Athens, 206 men and 478 women (39.16±13.52 years). PA was assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, which is composed of the walking PA, moderate PA, vigorous PA, and total PA indices. Physical (PCS) and psychological (MCS) health were evaluated using the SF-36 Health Survey, while personal, psychosocial, and environmental predictors were assessed by other valid questionnaires. Separate hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. Results: Findings showed that age, number of children, MCS, exercise self-efficacy, friend support for exercise, and family participation in exercise predicted walking PA, whereas moderate PA was associated with gender, family income, MCS, exercise self-efficacy, and neighbourhood environment. Finally, age, gender, PCS, MCS, exercise self-efficacy, attractiveness, and friend support for exercise predicted vigorous PA, while total PA was associated with gender, PCS, MCS, exercise self-efficacy, attractiveness, and friend support for exercise. Conclusions: These results demonstrated various personal, health, psychosocial, and environmental predictors of PA, indicating that an ecological framework could be useful in the design of PA interventions.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Eleni Theodoropoulou, School of Sport and Exercise Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

School of Sport and Exercise Science

Konstantinos Karteroliotis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

School of Sport and Exercise Science


Anagnostopoulos, F., Niakas, D., & Pappa, E. (2005). Construct validation of the Greek SF-36 health survey. Quality of Life Research, 14, 1959-1965. doi: 10.1007/s11136-005-3866-8.

Casper, J. M., Gray, D. P., & Stellino, M. B. (2007). A sport commitment model perspective on adult tennis players’ participation frequency and purchase intention. Sport Management Review, 10, 253-278. doi: 10.1016/S1441-3523(07)70014-1.

Craig, C. L., Marshall, A. L., Sjostrom, M., Bauman, A. E., Booth, M. L., Ainsworth, B. E., et al. (2003). International physical activity questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35, 1381-1395. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000078924.61453.FB.

Giles-Corti, B., Timperio, A., Bull, F., & Pikora, T. (2005). Understanding physical activity environmental correlates: Increased specificity for ecological models. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 33, 175-181. doi: 10.1097/00003677-200510000-00005.

Haase, A., Steptoe, A., Sallis, J. F., & Wardle, J. (2004). Leisure-time physical activity in University students from 23 countries: Associations with health beliefs, risk awareness, and national economic development. Preventive Medicine, 39, 182-190. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.01.028.

Ishii, K., Shibata, A., & Oka, K. (2010). Environmental, psychological and social influences on physical activity among Japanese adults: Structural equation modeling analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-61.

Karteroliotis, K. (2008). Validation of a short form of the Greek version of the Decisional Balance Scale in the exercise domain. Revista International de Ciencias del Deporte, 11, 1-13. doi: 10.5232/ricyde2008.011.01.

Keller, S. D., Ware, J. E., Bentler, P. M., Aaronson, N. K., Alonso, J., Apolone, G., et al. (1998). Use of structural equation modelling to test the construct validity of the SF-36 health survey in ten countries: Results from the IQOLA project. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51, 1179-1188. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(98)00110-3.

Kyle, G., & Mowen, A. J. (2005). An examination of the leisure involvement – agency commitment relationship. Journal of Leisure Research, 37(3), 342-363. Retrieved from involvment.

Marcus, B. H., Rakowski, W., & Rossi, J. S. (1992). Assessing motivational readiness and decision making for exercise. Health Psychology, 11, 257-261. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.11.4.257.

Marcus, B. H., Selby, V. C., Niaura, R. S., & Rossi, J. S. (1992). Self-efficacy and the stages of exercise behavior change. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 63, 60-66. doi: 10.1080/02701367.1992.10607557

Netz, Y., Wu, M. J., Becker, B. J., & Tenenbaum, G (2005). Physical activity and psychological well-being in advanced age: A meta-analysis of intervention studies. Psychology and Aging, 20, 272-284. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.20.2.272.

Pan, S. Y., Cameron, C., DesMeules, M., Morrison, H., Craig, C. L., & Jiang, X. H. (2009). Individual, social, environmental and physical environmental correlates with physical activity among Canadians: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 9. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-21.

Papathanasiou, G., Georgoudis, G., Georgakopoulos, D., Katsouras, C., Kalfakakou, V., & Evangelou, A. (2010). Criterion-related validity of the short international physical activity questionnaire against exercise capacity in young adults. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, 17, 380-386. doi: 10.1097/HJR.ObO13e328333ede6.

Papathanasiou, G., Georgoudis, G., Papandreou, M., Spyropoulos, P., Georgakopoulos, D., Kalfakakou, V., et al. (2009). Reliability measures of the short international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) in Greek young adults. Hellenic Journal of Cardiology, 50, 283-294. Retrieved from

Plotnikoff, R. C., Blanchard, C., Hotz, S. B., & Rhodes, R. (2001). Validation of the Decisional Balance Scales in the exercise domain from the transtheoretical model: A longitudinal test. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 5, 191-206. doi: 10.1207/S15327841MPEE0504_01.

Sallis, J. F., Grossman, R. M., Pinski, R. B., Patterson, T. L., & Nader, P. R. (1987). The development of scales to measure social support for diet and exercise behaviours. Preventive Medicine, 16, 825-836. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(87)90022-3.

Santos, R., Silva, P., Santos, P., Ribeiro, J. C., & Mota, J. (2008). Physical activity and perceived environmental attributes in a sample of Portuguese adults: Results from the Azorean physical activity and health study. Preventive Medicine, 47, 83-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.02.027.

Sarmiento, O. L., Schmid, T. L., Parra, D. C., Diaz-del-Castillo, A., Gomez, L. F., Pratt, M., et al. (2010). Quality of life, physical activity and built environment characteristics among Colombian adults. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7(Suppl 2), 181-195. Retrieved from PubMed.

Savela, S., Koistinen, P., Tilvis, R. S., Strandberg, A. Y., Pitkala, K. H., Salomaa, V. V., et al. (2010). Leisure-time physical activity cardiovascular risk factors and mortality during a 34-year follow-up in men. European Journal of Epidemiology, 25, 619-625. doi: 10.1007/s10654-010-9483-z.

Sjostrom M., Oja, P., Hagstromer, M., Smith, B. J., & Bauman, A. (2006). Health-enhancing physical activity across European Union countries: the Eurobarometer study. Journal of Public Health, 14, 291-300. doi: 10.1007/s10389-006-0031-y.

Soares, J., Simoes, E. J., Ramos, L. R., Pratt, M., & Brownson, R. C. (2010). Cross-sectional associations of health-related quality of life measures with selected factors: A population-based sample in Recife, Brazil. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7(Suppl 2), 229-241. Retrieved from PubMed.

Soper, D. S. (2013). A-priori Sample Size Calculator for Multiple Regression [Software]. Retrieved from

Sorensen, J., Sorensen, J. B., Skovgaard, T., Bredahl, T., & Puggaard, L. (2010). Exercise on prescription: changes in physical activity and health-related quality of life in five Danish programmes. European Journal of Public Health, 21, 56-62. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq003.

Stronegger, W. J., Titze, S., & Oja, P. (2010). Perceived characteristics of the neighbourhood and its association with physical activity behaviour and self-rated health. Health and Place, 16, 736-743. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace. 2010.03.005.

Theodorakis, N. D., Panopoulou, K., & Vlachopoulos, S. P. (2007). Factor structure and predictive validity of the Leisure Involvement Scale. Inquiries in Sport & Physical Education, 5(3), 405-413. Retrieved from

Theodoropoulou, E., & Karteroliotis, K. (2012, July). Validation of the Greek version of the exercise self-efficacy scale. Paper presented at the 17th annual conference of the European College of Sport Science, Bruges, Belgium.

Theodoropoulou, E., & Karteroliotis, K. (2012, July). Validation of a five-item neighbourhood environment scale: Evidence from Greece. Paper presented at the 17th annual conference of the European College of Sport Science, Bruges, Belgium.

Theodoropoulou, E., Karteroliotis, K., & Stavrou, N. (2014). Validity and reliability of Greek versions of two scales assessing family and friend support for exercise behaviour. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 118, 26-40. doi: 10.2466/06.08.PMS.118k13w7.

Thogersen-Ntoumani, C. (2009). An ecological model of predictors of stages of change for physical activity in Greek older adults. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 19, 286-296. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2007.00751.x.

Van Dyck, D., Cardon, G., Deforche, B., Giles-Corti, B., Sallis, J. F., Owen, N., et al. (2010). Environmental and psychological correlates of accelerometer-assessed and self-reported physical activity in Belgian adults. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 18. doi: 10.1007/sl2529-010-9127-4.

Ware, J. E., Kosinski, M. A., & Dewey, J. E. (2000). How to score version 2 of the SF-36 health survey. Lincoln, RI: QualityMetric Incorporated.

Wendel-Vos, W., Droomers, M., Kremers, S., Brug, J., & Lenthe, F. (2007). Potential environmental determinants of physical activity in adults: A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 8, 425-440. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2007.00370.x.

World Health Organization. (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva: WHO. Retrieved from publications/ 2010/ 9789241599979_ eng.pdf.

Yates, T., Davies, M. J., Gray, L. J., Webb, D., Henson, J., Gill, J. M. R., et al. (2010). Levels of physical activity and relationship with markers of diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk in 5474 white European and South Asian adults screened for type 2 diabetes. Preventive Medicine, 51, 290-294. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.06.011.






Original Research