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Differences in salient beliefs associated with voluntary exercise training among South Korean firefighters before and after COVID-19

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Kwon, Junhye; Choi, Joohee; Kwon, Juhyuk; Lee, Chung Gun; Seo, Dong-il; Song, Wook; Park, Jung-jun; Lee, Han-joon; Kang, Hyun Joo; Ahn, Yeon Soon

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BMC Public Health, 22(1):1339
Theory of planned behaviorFirefghtersSalient beliefsElicitation studyExercise trainingCOVID-19
Background : Participating in voluntary exercise training is important to meet occupational requirements as well as firefighters health and safety. The purpose of this study is to identify salient beliefs associated with voluntary exercise training among firefighters in the pandemic era by comparing outcomes with those from a previous elicitation study, which was carried out before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Methods : A total of 57 firefighters are recruited to participate in an elicitation study. Participants are requested to respond to six open-ended questions related to voluntary exercise training. Content analysis is used to create categories that combine similar factors in each belief. Beliefs mentioned by more than 30% of participants are used for comparison with the results of the previous research.
Results : Improves my physical ability (n = 44) and cause injury (n = 17) are identified as behavioral beliefs in the present study, whereas makes me tired and takes too much time were also elicited in Lees study. Normative beliefs are family members (n = 45) and colleagues (n = 27) and these results are consistent with those in Lees study. Lack of time (n = 28), exercise facilities (n = 19), and COVID-19 (n = 19) are elicited as control beliefs in the present study, whereas physical condition (n = 21) and exercise partners (n = 14) were elicited as other control beliefs, and COVID-19 was not mentioned in Lees study.
Conclusion : This study can contribute valuable information about salient beliefs associated with exercise training behavior among firefighters, particularly under pandemic conditions. Future researchers should develop tailored exercise training programs for firefighters based on current elicited beliefs.
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