Influence of health locus of control on physical activity levels and health-related quality of life among Seventh-day Adventist adults

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The purpose of this quantitative study was to (a) examine the impact of health locus of control (HLOC: internal, external-chance, external-powerful others, and God/God locus of health control [GLHC]) on physical activity (PA) levels of adults at Seventh-day Adventist institutions of higher education in California, and (b) examine health-related quality of life (HRQoL: physical function and general health) as first related to HLOC, then with PA, in the same population. Subjects included a convenience sample of participants (aged 22-81) employed by or attending one of three SDA higher education institutions in California during the 2020-2021 academic school year, a year that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants identified their role as either part-time or full-time student, staff, or faculty. Four surveys were combined into one questionnaire for participants to respond to: (1) Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scale to measure HLOC, (2) GLHC scale added to MHLC, (3) International Physical Activity Questionnaire to measure PA, and (4) Short Form 36 to measure HRQoL. Multiple regression analyses were performed and results indicated the following. (1) HLOC’s internal category was a significant positive predictor of HRQoL - general health, (2) HLOC’s external-powerful others category was a significant negative predictor of HRQoL - physical functioning, and (3) none of the HLOC categories (internal, external-chance, external-powerful others, God/GLHC) was a significant predictor of PA. In this sample, 66% of the respondents in this study reported high levels of PA (achieving at least 3,000 METS per week), 28% obtained moderate levels of PA (at least 600 METS per week), and 5% obtained low amounts of PA (less than 600 METS per week). Additional stand-out results indicated that part time (PT) staff (as a group) had the most amount of high PA levels, full time students had the highest scores for HLOC’s God/GLHC scale; and PT faculty had the highest scores for HRQoL - general health. Through better understanding of people’s PA, HLOC, and HRQoL, health interventions can be designed and implemented to more appropriately target the desired behavior change and thereby improve people's health and health outcomes.

Physical activity, Health locus of control, Health-related quality of life, Seventh-day Adventists