Gender-Associated Perceptions of Barriers and Motivators to Physical Activity Participation in South Asian Punjabis Living in Western Canada

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD $115.00

1 year subscription

USD $153.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD $218.00

2 year subscription

USD $285.00


Gender is a sociocultural factor known to impact the physical activity (PA) behaviors of South Asians. The purpose of this research was to examine gender-associated perceptions of barriers and motivators for PA in a South Asian population living Canada.


A random sample (N = 204) of South Asian Punjabi adults (18yrs+) completed a computer assisted telephone interview concerning their perceptions to PA participation. Content analysis was used to identify relevant main themes and chi-square analysis was used to calculate gender differences.


Results indicated that women more often reported a lack of time due to work and family (χ2 = 7.284, df = 1, P = .007) and a lack of motivation (χ2 = 4.982, df = 1, P = .026), yet men more often reported climate (χ2 = 7.045, df = 1, P = .008) as a barrier. Regarding motivators, men more often reported prevention and reduction of disease (χ2 = 4.451, df = 1, P = .034) and watching others perform (χ2 = 10.827, df = 1, P = .001); however, reducing weight gain (χ2 = 4.806, df = 1, P = .028) and looking like others (χ2 = 4.730, df = 1, P = .029) were reported more often by women.


Gender-associated differences concerning PA are present in this population and must be considered in the design and implementation of effective interventions.

Caperchione ( is with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Chau is with the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Walker, Mummery, and Jennings are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.