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Rikki A. Cannioto

Despite much research investigating physical activity (PA) barriers for American women, the PA barriers experienced by overweight and obese working women remain largely unexamined. This preliminary investigation assessed the PA barriers, behaviors, and beliefs of 40 overweight/obese women with full-time desk jobs for the subsequent development and implementation of a tailored “healthy weight” wellness program. Based on qualitative and quantitative data analysis, the majority of participants weren’t sufficiently active, citing motivation and time as their biggest perceived barriers. Statistically significant relationships were identified between BMI and barrier numbers, PA levels, PA enjoyment, and PA importance; as well as between PA levels and barrier numbers, PA enjoyment, and PA importance. An effective PA intervention should emphasize 300 minutes of PA a week, while incorporating evidence-based behavioral strategies (i.e., goal setting, self-monitoring, contingency management, social support, stimulus control, and cognitive restructuring) that have been proven to decrease barriers and increase PA adherence among overweight and obese individuals.