Only a small fraction of overweight people get enough exercise to improve health. Intimidating factors in the health club environment may cause the overweight person to have low perceived control and low self-efficacy for exercise. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine the perceived behavioral control and self-efficacy overweight (OW) and normal weight (NW) adults have toward health club exercise and what individual factors affect their perceived control and self-efficacy. Method: A 17-item survey measured perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, and behavioral intent toward exercising at a health club 30 min, twice a week, for the next month, in overweight (OW, n=1159) and normal weight (NW, n=550) adults. ANOVA, t-tests, Mann-Whitney Rank Sum, and correlation coefficients were used for analysis. Significance was set at p< 0.05. Results: NW adults have higher overall self-efficacy, higher overall perceived control, and higher perceived control over their ability to exercise, having what is necessary to exercise and wanting to exercise more than do OW (p< 0.002). Exercise intent is related to perceived control (r=0.56) and self-efficacy (r=0.41). OW people feel least efficacious about exercising with heavy work demands or stressful life changes. Conclusions: Exercise promotions and interventions in the health club environment should provide support and skills for overcoming these barriers.




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