Saf Health Work.  2017 Mar;8(1):94-98. 10.1016/

Exercise Self-Efficacy as a Mediator between Goal-Setting and Physical Activity: Developing the Workplace as a Setting for Promoting Physical Activity

  • 1Department of Human Intelligence Systems, Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka, Japan.
  • 2Department of Health Care, NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 3Department of Nursing, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan.


Physical activity (PA) is ranked as a leading health indicator and the workplace is a key setting to promote PA. The purpose
of this study was to examine how goal-setting and exercise self-efficacy (SE) during a health promotion program influenced PA level among Japanese workers.
Using a cross-sectional study design, we surveyed 281 employees. The short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess PA level. Exercise SE was assessed using a partially modified version of Oka's exercise SE scale. Personal goals were assessed as the total numbers of “yes” responses to five items regarding “details of personal goals to perform PA”. A mediational model was used to examine whether exercise SE mediates between the number of personal goals and PA level.
The mean age of the participants was 46.3 years, 76.2% were men, and the most common occupational category was software engineer (30.6%). The average PA level per week exceeded the recommended level in 127 participants (45.2%). One hundred and eighty-four participants (65.5%) set some form of concrete personal goal to perform PA. The relationship between the number of personal goals and PA level was mediated by exercise SE.
Our study showed that exercise SE mediates goal-setting and increases PA. The results suggest that the components of PA promotion programs should be tailored to enhance participants' confidence in performing PA.


exercise self-efficacy; goal-setting; health promotion program; physical activity; workplace
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