Daily Self-Monitoring of Physical Leisure Activities and Health Practices, Self-Concept, and Quality-of-Life

Submitted by Jennifer Kwak1 MA*, Michael Amrhein2*, Harald Barkhoff2*, and Elaine M. Heiby1*

1* Department of Psychology, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

2* Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences, University of Hawai’i at Hilo

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Being physically active during leisure time is a positive contributor to overall physical and mental health, while sedentariness is a risk factor for several diseases. Minority students are at-risk of physical inactivity during leisure time and more research is needed to better understand how this affects health outcomes and its dynamical nature.

Methods: Computer Assisted Mobile Interview (CAMI) cell phone technology was used to prospectively collect daily self-monitoring of physical leisure activity and the outcomes of six health practices (eating habits, feeling hassled, mood, alcohol and cigarette consumption, and use of sun protection) and mental health indicators of self-concept and quality-of-life, over four months with 28 multi-ethnic college students in Hawaiʻi, U.S.

Results: Correlational and multiple regression analyses yielded significant positive relationships among daily physical leisure activity, self-concept, and feeling less hassled. Daily sedentary leisure activity was significantly associated with poorer health practices. Very-Physically-Active participants reported significantly more positive self-concept than Not-Very-Physically-Active participants. Self-concept and quality-of-life were significantly related to more positive daily health practices.

Conclusions: These results provide preliminary evidence for the positive and dynamical effects of active physical leisure activity on health practices and mental health indicators, and demonstrate cell phones as an effective tool for daily self-monitoring.

Applications in Sport: Health professionals, coaches, and educators may better understand the temporal health effects of physical leisure activities in student minorities. The use of cell phone technology, particularly text-messaging, can be an effective tool to self-monitor daily activities to improve health and fitness during leisure time.

Key words: physical leisure activities, health practices, self-monitoring, self-concept, quality-of-life

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