Addressing the Challenges, Barriers, and Enablers to Physical Activity Participation in Priority Women’s Groups

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The Women’s Active Living Kits (WALK) Pilot Program was an Australian federal government initiative designed to identify an effective model for extending physical activity participation in government identified priority women’s groups. The purpose of this study is to address the barriers and challenges to physical activity participation in selected priority women’s groups and present possible strategies to assist with engaging these groups in physical activity.


Ten focus group evaluation sessions were undertaken with priority women’s groups who took part in the WALK program. Participants were encouraged to share their opinions, perceptions and beliefs regarding their physical activity behaviors, in a semistructured, open table discussion.


Participants reported a number of psychological and cognitive, sociocultural, and environmental factors which restricted their participation in physical activity. Participants also highlighted strategies they felt would enable physical activity participation.


These findings are valuable and should be used as a platform to inform the design and implementation of future physical activity interventions for priority women’s groups.

The authors are with the Institute for Health and Social Science Research at Central Queensland University Australia in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.