A Qualitative Exploration of Immigrant Muslim Older Adults’ Experiences and Perceptions of Physical Activity

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Physical activity is essential for healthy aging; however, there has been little exploration of physical activity in Muslim older immigrants in Canada. Over one million Canadians identify as Muslim, the majority is first-generation immigrants, with increasing cohorts entering older age. A community-based participatory research project on healthy aging was conducted with 68 older adults and community members from South Asian, Arab, and African Muslim ethnocultural communities in a Canadian urban center. A combination of individual interviews and focus groups discussions were completed, followed by thematic analysis of data. Participating community groups emphasized the importance of physical activity in older age and prioritized the need for physical activity programs. The four themes highlight Muslim older immigrants’ perspectives on physical activity in Canada: (a) values and approaches to staying active; (b) health factors: pain and health limitations; (c) social factors: culture, religion, and belonging; and (d) environmental factors: safety and accessibility.

Salma, Ali, and Salami are with the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Jones is with Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Yamamoto is with the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Salma (sjordana@ualberta.ca) is corresponding author.
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