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.