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Role of COVID-19 risk perception in predicting the intention to participate in exercise and health behaviors among Korean men

  • Sung-Un Park1
  • Hyunkyun Ahn2,*,
  • Wi-Young So3,*,

1Department of Sports & Health, College of Arts & Physical Education, Hwasung Medi-Science University, 18274 Hwaseong-si, Republic of Korea

2Department of Sport & Leisure Studies, Division of Arts & Health, Myongji College, 03656 Seoul, Republic of Korea

3Sports Medicine Major, College of Humanities and Arts, Korea National University of Transportation, 27469 Chungju-si, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2023.031 Vol.19,Issue 4,April 2023 pp.1-10

Submitted: 28 July 2022 Accepted: 22 September 2022

Published: 30 April 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Hyunkyun Ahn E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Wi-Young So E-mail:


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has prompted the implementation of social distancing policies worldwide, limiting participation in exercise and substantially impacting health behaviors. In accordance with the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the present study aimed to develop a model for predicting the intent to participate in exercise and engage in health behaviors among Korean men using the perception of COVID-19 risk as an exogenous variable. We analyzed data obtained from 374 Korean men who had completed a 32-item, online questionnaire. Structural equation modeling was performed to evaluate the effect of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control (PBC) on the intention to participate in exercise and health behaviors using COVID-19 risk perception as an antecedent variable. COVID-19 risk perception exerted significant negative effects on the attitude toward exercise participation (β = −0.857, p < 0.001), subjective norms associated with exercise participation (β = −0.862, p < 0.001), and PBC related to exercise (β = −0.738, p < 0.001). In addition, both attitude (β = 0.213, p < 0.001) and subjective norms (β = 0.168, p = 0.001) exerted significant effects on the intention to participate in exercise. PBC also exerted significant effects on the intention to participate in exercise (β = 0.580, p < 0.001) and health behaviors (β = 0.461, p < 0.001). Lastly, the intention to participate in exercise exerted a significant effect on health behaviors (β = 0.400, p < 0.001). The data indicated that, among TPB variables, PBC exerted the greatest influence on the intention to participate in exercise and had a significant effect on engagement in health behaviors. The current findings support TPB as an important theoretical model for predicting the intention to participate in exercise and patterns of health behavior among Korean men during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study also highlights the importance of addressing PBC when designing interventions to promote exercise participation and health behaviors among Korean men.


COVID-19; Exercise; Health behavior; Men; Self-efficacy; Theory of planned behavior

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Sung-Un Park,Hyunkyun Ahn,Wi-Young So. Role of COVID-19 risk perception in predicting the intention to participate in exercise and health behaviors among Korean men. Journal of Men's Health. 2023. 19(4);1-10.


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