Applying the Socioecological Model to Map Factors Associated with Military Physical Activity Adherence

Golan Benisti, Orna Baron-Epel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical activity (PA) within the military can have large effects on the soldier’s health, productivity, and ability to meet tasks. This study aims to identify the factors associated with PA adherence during military service, applying the socioecological model, which classifies the factors influencing health behaviors into individual, social, and environmental levels. This cross-sectional survey was carried out among 500 soldiers aged 18 to 49 years in the Israeli Defense Forces. Statistical analysis to assess associations between PA and individual, social, and environmental factors included correlations, variance analyses, and multivariable linear regression. PA rates were higher among men soldiers in combat positions. Individual level factors, such as intention to perform PA (β = 0.42, p < 0.001), and self-efficacy regarding PA (β = 0.20, p < 0.001) were associated with PA among men and women. However, social norms were associated with PA only among men (β = 0.24, p < 0.001). The physical environment was not associated with PA adherence (β = −0.04, p = 0.210). Conclusions: Developing interventions on the individual level for all military personnel and interventions on the social level, mainly for men, could help increase levels of PA in the military.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6047
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • IDF
  • barriers
  • intentions
  • knowledge
  • military
  • motives
  • physical activity
  • physical environment
  • social norms
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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