Article Data

  • Views 371
  • Dowloads 176

Original Research

Open Access

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

Cite and Share

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.


[1] World Health Organization. 2020. WHO COVID-19 Dashboard data. Available at: (Accessed: 25 July 2022).

[2] Ammar A, Trabelsi K, Brach M, Chtourou H, Boukhris O, Masmoudi L, et al. Effects of home confinement on mental health and lifestyle behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak: insight from the ECLB-COVID19 multicenter study. Biology of Sport. 2021; 38: 9–21.

[3] Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. 2022. Social distancing measures lifted after about 2 years and 1 month observance of daily quarantine rules to prevent infection in daily life such as hand washing, ventilation and disinfection is more important. Available at: https://ncov.kdca.go. kr/?contSeq%20=%20371078 (Accessed: 20 August 2022).

[4] Yonsei University. 2020. Yonsei News. Available at: https: // 174410&mode=view (Accessed: 25 July 2022).

[5] Begović M. Effects of COVID-19 on society and sport a national response. Managing Sport and Leisure. 2022; 27: 241–246.

[6] Korea Health Promotion and Development Institute. 2020. 40.7% of Koreans “experienced depression and anxiety due to COVID-19”. Available at: 1001456&menuId=MENU00907 (Accessed: 25 July 2022).

[7] Dwyer MJ, Pasini M, De Dominicis S, Righi E. Physical activity: benefits and challenges during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2020; 30: 1291–1294.

[8] Freeman S, Eykelbosh A. COVID-19 and outdoor safety: considerations for use of outdoor recreational spaces. National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health. 2020; 829: 1–15.

[9] Goldberg MH, Gustafson A, Maibach EW, Ballew MT, Bergquist P, Kotcher JE, et al. Mask-wearing increased after a government recommendation: a natural experiment in the U.S. During the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Communication. 2020; 5: 44.

[10] Barceló J, Sheen G. Voluntary adoption of social welfare-enhancing behavior: mask-eearing in spain during the COVID-19 outbreak 2020. PLoS One. 2020; 15: e0242764.

[11] Chtourou H, Trabelsi K, H’mida C, Boukhris O, Glenn JM, Brach M, et al. Staying physically active during the quarantine and self-isolation period for controlling and mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic overview of the literature. Frontiers in Psychology. 2020; 11: 1708.

[12] Sallis J F, Adlakha D, Oyeyemi A, Salvo D. An international physical activity and public health research agenda to inform coronavirus disease-2019 policies and practices. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2020; 9: 328–334.

[13] Kim YJ, Cho JH, Kang SW. Study on the relationship between leisure activity participation and wearing a mask among Koreans during COVID-19 crisis: using TPB model. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17: 7674.

[14] Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. Korea Health Statistics 2019: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANESVIII- 1). Available at: (Accessed: 20 August 2022).

[15] Kim M, Lee S, Shin K, Son D, Kim S, Joe H, et al. The change of metabolic syndrome prevalence and its risk factors in Korean adults for decade: Korea national health and nutrition examination survey for 2008–2017. Korean Journal of Family Practice. 2020; 10: 44–52.

[16] Bassuk SS, Manson JE. Epidemiological evidence for the role of physical activity in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2005; 99: 1193–1204.

[17] Kohrt W M. American college of sports medicine position stand on physical activity and bone health. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2004; 36: 1985–1996.

[18] Hale JW, Pacheco JA, Lewis CS, Swimmer L, Daley SM, Nazir N, et al. Everyday discrimination for American Indian tribal college students enrolled in the internet all nations breath of life program. Journal of American College Health. 2021; 1–7.

[19] Sigal RJ, Kenny GP, Wasserman DH, Castaneda-Sceppa C, White RD. Physical activity/exercise and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004; 27: 2518–2539.

[20] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Promoting Better Health for Young People Through Physical Activity and Sports. A report to the president from the secretary of health and human services and the secre-tary of education. Fall 2000. Available at: https://usa.usembassy. de/etexts/sport/Promoting_better_health.pdf (Accessed: 29 November 2022).

[21] De Oliveira Neto L, Elsangedy HM, Tavares VDDO, Teixeira CVLS, Behm DG, Da Silva-Grigoletto ME. #TrainingInHome—Home-based training during COVID-19 (SARS-COV2) pandemic: physical exercise and behavior-based approach. Revista Brasileira de Fisiologia do Exercí cio. 2020; 19: 9–19.

[22] Lim S, Lim H, Després J. Collateral Damage of the COVID‐19 pandemic on nutritional quality and physical activity: perspective from south Korea. Obesity. 2020; 28: 1788–1790.

[23] Grol RP, Bosch MC, Hulscher ME, Eccles MP, Wensing M. Planning and studying improvement in patient care: the use of theoretical perspectives. The Milbank Quarterly. 2007; 85: 93–138.

[24] Glanz K, Rimer BK, Viswanath K. Health behavior and health education: theory, research, and practice. John Wiley and Sons. Jossey-Bass: San francisco. 2008.

[25] Cori L, Bianchi F, Cadum E, Anthonj C. Risk perception and COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17: 3114.

[26] Bavel JJV, Baicker K, Boggio PS, Capraro V, Cichocka A, Cikara M, et al. Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response. Nature Human Behaviour. 2020; 4: 460–471.

[27] Cox DF, Rich SU. Perceived risk and consumer decision-making: the case of telephone shoping. Journal of Marketing Research. 1964; 1: 32–39.

[28] Sönmez SF, Apostolopoulos Y, Tarlow P. Tourism in crisis: managing the effects of terrorism. Journal of Travel Research. 1999; 38: 13–18.

[29] Korea Health Promotion Institute. 40.7% of Koreans “experienced depression and anxiety due to COVID-19” in 2022. Available at: 10&no1=553&linkId=1001456&menuId=MENU00907&schType=0& schText=&boardStyle=&categoryId=&continent=&country=&contents1 (Accessed: 20 August 2022).

[30] Shahidi SH, Williams JS, Hassani F. Physical activity during COVID‐19 quarantine. Acta Paediatrica. 2020; 109: 2147.

[31] Halabchi F, Ahmadinejad Z, Selk-Ghaffari M. COVID-19 epidemic: exercise or not to exercise; that is the question! Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. 2020; 11: e102630.

[32] Dominski FH, Brandt R. Do the benefits of exercise in indoor and outdoor environments during the COVID-19 pandemic outweigh the risks of infection? Sport Sciences for Health. 2020; 16: 583–588.

[33] World Health Organization Europe. Stay physically active during self-quarantine. Available at: (Accessed 20 August 2022).

[34] Chen P, Mao L, Nassis GP, Harmer P, Ainsworth BE, Li F. Opinion Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV): the need to maintain regular physical activity while taking precautions. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2020; 3: 321–333.

[35] Conner M, Sparks P. Theory of planned be haviour and health behaviour. Predicting Health Behaviour. 2005; 2: 121–162.

[36] Park SU, Lee CG, Kim DK, Park JH, Jang DJ. A developmental model for predicting sport participation among female Korean college students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17: 5010.

[37] Ajzen I. The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 1991; 50: 179–211.

[38] Bae SY, Chang PJ. The effect of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) risk perception on behavioral intention towards ‘untact’ tourism in South Korea during the first wave of the pandemic (March 2020). Current Issues in Tourism. 2021; 24: 1017–1035.

[39] Duarte Alonso A, Sakellarios N, Pritchard M. The theory of planned behaviour in the context of cultural heritage tourism. Journal of Heritage Tourism. 2015; 10: 399–416.

[40] Kim B. A study on predicting whistle blowing intention in those involved in horse racing industry with extended theory of planned behavior: focusing on the ethical climate, moral norm and perceived risk. Journal of Tourism Management Research. 2019; 23: 853–873.

[41] Hennessy M, Bleakley A, Fishbein M, Brown L, Diclemente R, Romer D, et al. Differentiating between precursor and control variables when analyzing reasoned action theories. AIDS and Behavior. 2010; 14: 225–236.

[42] Bozionelos G, Bennett P. The theory of planned behaviour as predictor of exercise. Journal of Health Psychology. 1999; 4: 517–529.

[43] Hamilton K, White KM. Extending the theory of planned behavior: the role of self and social influences in predicting adolescent regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2008; 30: 56–74.

[44] Rhodes RE, Courneya KS, Jones LW. Personality and social cognitive influences on exercise behavior: adding the activity trait to the theory of planned behavior. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2004; 5: 243–254.

[45] Jang D, Kim I, Kwon S. Motivation and intention toward physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic: Perspectives from integrated model of self-determination and planned behavior theories. Frontiers in psychology. 2021; 12: 714865.

[46] Seong BH, Hong CY. Does risk awareness of COVID-19 affect visits to national parks? Analyzing the tourist decision-making process using the theory of planned behavior. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18: 5081.

[47] Dolnicar S. Understanding barriers to leisure travel-tourist fears as marketing basis. Journal of Vacation Marketing. 2005; 11: 197–208.

[48] Larsen S, Brun W. ‘I am not at risk—typical tourists are’! Social comparison of risk in tourists. Perspectives in Public Health. 2011; 131: 275–279.

[49] Lepp A, Gibson H. Tourist roles, perceived risk and international tourism. Annals of Tourism Research. 2003; 30: 606–624.

[50] Park SU, Ahn H, So WY. Developing a model of health behavior intentions and actual health behaviors of Korean male university students. Journal of Men’s Health. 2020; 16: 1–9.

[51] Kline RB. Principle and practice of structural equation modeling. The Guilford Press: New York. 1998.

[52] West SG, Finch JF, Curran PJ. Structural equation models with non-normal variables: problems and remedies. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural Equation Modeling: Concepts, Issues, and Application. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 1995.

[53] Hu L, Bentler PM. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal. 1999; 6: 1–55.

[54] Iacobucci D. Structural equations modeling: fit Indices, sample size, and advanced topics. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 2010; 20: 90–98.

[55] Steiger JH. Understanding the limitations of global fit assessment in structural equation modeling. Personality and Individual Differences. 2007; 42: 893–898.

[56] Stone RN, Grønhaug K. Perceived risk: Further considerations for the marketing discipline. European Journal of marketing. 1993; 27: 39–50.

[57] Peter JP, Tarpey, Sr. LX. A Comparative analysis of three consumer decision strategies. Journal of Consumer Research. 1975; 2: 29.

[58] Hsieh C, Park SH, McNally R. Application of the extended theory of planned behavior to intention to travel to japan among taiwanese youth: investigating the moderating effect of past visit experience. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. 2016; 33: 717–729.

[59] Dryhurst S, Schneider CR, Kerr J, Freeman ALJ, Recchia G, van der Bles AM, et al. Risk perceptions of COVID-19 around the world. Journal of Risk Research. 2020; 23: 994–1006.

[60] Han H, Al-Ansi A, Chua B, Tariq B, Radic A, Park S. The post-coronavirus world in the international tourism industry: application of the theory of planned behavior to safer destination choices in the case of US outbound tourism. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17: 6485.

[61] Lee S. The Influence of Risk Perception of COVID-19 and travel involvement on overseas travel intention in post-corona era: expanding on the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Tourism Management Research. 2021; 25: 437–457.

[62] WILLIAMS PW, BASFORD R. Segmenting downhill skiing’s latent demand markets. American Behavioral Scientist. 1992; 36: 222–235.

[63] Ashraf S, Kuang J, Das U, Bicchieri C. Sanitation practices during early phases of COVID-19 lockdown in peri-urban communities in Tamil Nadu, India. the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2020; 103: 2012–2018.

[64] Vari A, Reagan-Cirincione P, Mumpower J L, Massam BH. LLRW disposal facility siting: success and failures in six countries. 1995; 39: 374.

[65] Jimeno-Almazán A, Pallarés JG, Buendía-Romero Á, Martínez-Cava A, Franco-López F, Sánchez-Alcaraz Martínez BJ, et al. Post-COVID-19 syndrome and the potential benefits of exercise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18: 5329.

[66] Song HJ, Lee CK, Boo SJ. Understanding visiting behavior of nature-based festival: focusing on environment friendly tourism behavior. International Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research. 2011; 25: 21–38.

[67] Korea Health Promotion and Development Institute. 2021. Show your health practices for a healthier daily life. Available at: 10&no1=596&linkId=1002157&menuId=MENU00907&schType=0& schText=&boardStyle=&categoryId=&continent=&country= &contents1= (Accessed: 20 August 2022).

[68] Ajzen I. EBOOK: attitudes, personality and behaviour. McGraw-hill education, (2nd ed). Open University Press. New York. 2005.

[69] Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. 2022. Current status of COVID-19 outbreak in Korea. Available at: http://ncov.mohw. &ncvContSeq=6750&board_id=312&contSeq=6750 (Accessed: 25 July 2022).

[70] Ajzen I, Fishbein M. Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behaviour. Englewood Cliffs. 1980.

[71] Hausenbles HA, Carron AV, Marck DE. Application of the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior to exercise behavior: a meta-analysis. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 1997; 19: 36–51.

[72] Hagger MS, Chatzisarantis NLD, Biddle SJH. The influence of au-tonomous and controlling motives on physical activity intentions within the Theory of Planned Behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology. 2002; 7: 283–297.

[73] Downs DS, Hausenblas HA. Elicitation studies and the theory of planned behavior: a systematic review of exercise beliefs. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2005; 6: 1–31.

[74] Rothman AJ. Toward a theory-based analysis of behavioral maintenance. Health Psychology. 2000; 19: 64.

[75] Chen K, Razi M, Tarn JM. Empirical assessment of ERP learning effects. Human Systems Management. 2009; 28: 183–192.

[76] East R. Investment decisions and the theory of planned behaviour. Journal of Economic Psychology. 1993; 14: 337–375.

[77] Hill RJ, Fishbein M, Ajzen I. Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: an introduction to theory and research. Contemporary Sociology. 1977; 6: 244.

[78] Culos-Reed SN, Gyurcsik NC, Brawley LR. Using theories of motivated behavior to understand physical activity. Handbook of Sport Psychology. 2001; 2: 695–717.

[79] Rivis A, Sheeran P. Descriptive norms as an additional predictor in the theory of planned behaviour: a meta-analysis. Current Psychology. 2003; 22: 218–233.

[80] Lam T, Hsu CHC. Predicting behavioral intention of choosing a travel destination. Tourism Management. 2006; 27: 589–599.

[81] Madden TJ, Ellen PS, Ajzen I. A comparison of the theory of planned behavior and the theory of reasoned action. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 1992; 18: 3–9.

[82] Mohiyeddini C, Pauli R, Bauer S. The role of emotion in bridging the intention-behaviour gap: the case of sports participation. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2009; 10: 226–234.

[83] Kaushal N, Keith N, Aguiñaga S, Hagger MS. Social cognition and socioecological predictors of home-based physical activity intentions, planning, and habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Behavioral Sciences. 2020; 10: 133.

[84] Perugini M, Bagozzi RP. The role of desires and anticipated emotions in goal-directed behaviours: broadening and deepening the theory of planned behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology. 2001; 40: 79–98.

[85] Engel JF, Blackwell RD. Consumer behavior. (4th edn). The Dryden Press: New York. 1982.

[86] Sheeran P. Intention-behaviour relations: a conceptual and empirical review. European Review of Social Psychology. 2002; 12: 1–36.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch) Created as SCI in 1964, Science Citation Index Expanded now indexes over 9,200 of the world’s most impactful journals across 178 scientific disciplines. More than 53 million records and 1.18 billion cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition aims to evaluate a journal’s value from multiple perspectives including the journal impact factor, descriptive data about a journal’s open access content as well as contributing authors, and provide readers a transparent and publisher-neutral data & statistics information about the journal.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world, driven by a growing community, committed to ensuring quality content is freely available online for everyone.

SCImago The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.)

Publication Forum - JUFO (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies) Publication Forum is a classification of publication channels created by the Finnish scientific community to support the quality assessment of academic research.

Scopus CiteScore 0.7 (2021) Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers Search for publication channels (journals, series and publishers) in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers to see if they are considered as scientific. (

Submission Turnaround Time