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Minna Rasinaho, Mirja Hirvensalo, Raija Leinonen, Taru Lintunen and Taina Rantanen

The purpose of this study was to investigate what older adults with severe, moderate, or no mobility limitation consider motives for and barriers to engaging in physical exercise. Community-dwelling adults (N = 645) age 75–81 years completed a questionnaire about their motives for and barriers to physical exercise and answered interview questions on mobility limitation. Those with severely limited mobility more often reported poor health, fear and negative experiences, lack of company, and an unsuitable environment as barriers to exercise than did those with no mobility limitation. They also accentuated disease management as a motive for exercise, whereas those with no or moderate mobility limitation emphasized health promotion and positive experiences related to exercise. Information about differences in motives for and barriers to exercise among people with and without mobility limitation helps tailor support systems that support engagement in physical activity among older adults.

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Faith D. Lees, Phillip G. Clark, Claudio R. Nigg and Phillip Newman

Longer life expectancy, rapid population growth, and low exercise-participation rates of adults 65 and older justify the need for better understanding of older adults’ exercise behavior. The objectives of this focus-group study were to determine barriers to the exercise behavior of older adults. Six focus groups, three with exercisers and three with nonexercisers, were conducted at various sites throughout Rhode Island. The majority (n = 57) of the 66 individuals who participated were women, and all stated that they were 65 and older. Results from the focus-group data identified 13 barriers to exercise behavior. The most significant barriers mentioned by nonexercisers were fear of falling, inertia, and negative affect. Exercisers identified inertia, time constraints, and physical ailments as being the most significant barriers to exercise. Implications from these focus-group data can be useful in the development of exercise interventions for older adults, which could increase exercise participation.

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Asmita Patel, Grant M. Schofield, Gregory S. Kolt and Justin W.L. Keogh

This study examined whether perceived barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity differed based on allocation to 2 different types of primary-care activity-prescription programs (pedometer-based vs. time-based Green Prescription). Eighty participants from the Healthy Steps study completed a questionnaire that assessed their perceived barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity. Factor analysis was carried out to identify common themes of barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity. Factor scores were then used to explore between-groups differences for perceived barriers, benefits, and motives based on group allocation and demographic variables. No significant differences were found in factor scores based on allocation. Demographic variables relating to the existence of chronic health conditions, weight status, and older age were found to significantly influence perceived barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity. Findings suggest that the addition of a pedometer to the standard Green Prescription does not appear to increase perceived motives or benefits or decrease perceived barriers for physical activity in low-active older adults.

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Bhibha M. Das and Steven J. Petruzzello

Background:

The physical inactivity epidemic continues be one of the greatest public health challenges in contemporary society in the United States. The transportation industry is at greater risk of physical inactivity, compared with individuals in other sectors of the workforce. The aim of this study was to use the Nominal Group Technique, a focus group technique, to examine mass transit employees’ perceptions of the barriers to physical activity at their worksite.

Methods:

Three focus groups (n = 31) were conducted to examine mass transit employees’ perceptions of barriers to physical activity at the worksite.

Results:

Salient barriers included (1) changing work schedules, (2) poor weather conditions, and (3) lack of scheduled and timely breaks.

Conclusions:

Findings were consistent with previous research demonstrating shift work, poor weather, and lack of breaks can negatively impact mass transit employees’ ability to be physically active. Although physical activity barriers for this population have been consistent for the last 20 years, public health practice and policy have not changed to address these barriers. Future studies should include conducing focus groups stratified by job classification (eg, operators, maintenance, and clerical) along with implementing and evaluating worksite-based physical activity interventions and policy changes.

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Lauren J. Lieberman, Cathy Houston-Wilson and Francis M. Kozub

The purpose of this study was to examine barriers perceived by teachers when including students with visual impairments in general physical education. Teachers (52 males, 96 females) who had children with visual impairments in their physical education classes were surveyed prior to in-service workshop participation. The most prevalent barriers were professional preparation, equipment, programming, and time. A logistic regression analysis, regressing gender, in-service training, number of students with visual impairments taught, masters degree attained, masters hours spent on visual impairments (yes or no), undergraduate hours spent on visual impairments (yes or no), and years of experience failed to indicate significant predictors of professional preparation as a barrier, Model χ2 (6, n = 148) = 4.48, p > .05.

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Anna E. Mathews, Sarah B. Laditka, James N. Laditka, Sara Wilcox, Sara J. Corwin, Rui Liu, Daniela B. Friedman, Rebecca Hunter, Winston Tseng and Rebecca G. Logsdon

This study identified perceived physical activity (PA) enablers and barriers among a racially/ethnically and geographically diverse group of older adults. Data were from 42 focus groups conducted with African Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Chinese, Vietnamese, and non-Hispanic Whites (hereafter Whites). Constant-comparison methods were used to analyze the data. Common barriers were health problems, fear of falling, and inconvenience. Common enablers were positive outcome expectations, social support, and PA program access. American Indians mentioned the built environment and lack of knowledge about PA as barriers and health benefits as an enabler more than participants in other groups. Whites and American Indians emphasized the importance of PA programs specifically designed for older adults. Findings suggest several ways to promote PA among older people, including developing exercise programs designed for older adults and health messages promoting existing places and programs older adults can use to engage in PA.

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Eva A. Jaarsma, Rienk Dekker, Steven A. Koopmans, Pieter U. Dijkstra and Jan H.B. Geertzen

We examined barriers to and facilitators of sports participation in people with visual impairments. Participants registered at Royal Visio, Bartiméus, and the Eye Association were invited to complete a questionnaire (telephone or online). Six hundred forty-eight of the invited participants (13%) completed the questionnaire, and 63% of the respondents reported sports participation. Walking (43%), fitness (34%), and cycling (34%) were frequently mentioned sports. Costs, lack of peers/buddies, and visual impairment were negatively associated with sports participation, whereas higher education and computer (software) use were positively associated. The most important personal barrier was visual impairment; transport was the most important environmental barrier. Active participants also mentioned dependence on others as a personal barrier. The most important personal facilitators were health, fun, and social contacts; support from family was the most important environmental facilitator. To improve sports participation in people with visual impairments, the emphasis in a sports program should be on the positive aspects of sports, such as fun, health, and social contacts.

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Lorraine Bautista, Belinda Reininger, Jennifer L. Gay, Cristina S. Barroso and Joseph B. McCormick

Background:

National data show that Hispanics report low levels of physical activity. Limited information on barriers to exercise in this population exists in the literature.

Methods:

Surveys were administered to 398 Hispanic participants from two colonias in South Texas to investigate self-reported levels of and perceived barriers to exercise. One-way ANOVA by level of activity and t tests by gender were conducted. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine patterns by level of activity.

Results:

Results show that 67.6% of respondents did not meet physical activity recommendations of at least 150 minutes per week, as compared with 55.6% nationally. Overall, the most frequently reported barriers included “lack of time,” “very tired,” and “lack of self-discipline” to exercise. An exploratory factor analysis of the barriers reported by participants not meeting physical activity recommendations resulted in a 3-factor structure. A unidimensional scale was found for participants meeting recommendations.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that future interventions should be specific to gender and exercise level to address the high prevalence of inactivity in this population.

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Gena M. Fletcher, Timothy K. Behrens and Lorie Domina

Background:

Work sites offer a productive setting for physical activity (PA) promoting interventions. Still, PA participation remains low. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the reasoning behind commonly reported barriers and enabling factors to participation in PA programs in a work-site setting.

Methods:

Employees from a large city government were recruited to participate in focus groups, stratified by white- and blue-collar occupations. Responses from open-ended questions about factors influencing participation in PA programs were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Resulting data were analyzed with open and axial coding.

Results:

The sample consisted of 60 employees composing 9 focus groups. Although time was the most common barrier between both groups, white-collars workers responded that scheduling and work conflicts were the most common barrier concerning time. Blue-collar workers indicated shift work as their most common barrier. In addition, health was a significant enabling factor for both occupational categories. White-collar workers were much more concerned with appearances and were more highly motivated by weight loss and the hopefulness of quick results than were blue-collar workers.

Conclusions:

These findings are important in the understanding of PA as it relates to the reasoning behind participation in work-site programs in regard to occupational status.

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Arlene E. Hall

This study is an examintion of the effects of race and income on leisure-time physical activity among women (n = 116). Perceived benefits of and barriers to participating in leisure-time physical activity were also compared. A regression model utilizing social cognitive variables was used to explore factors which may predict physical activity participation. No significant differences emerged between the groups regarding the amount of physical activity they reported either by race or socioeconomic status. Time expenditure emerged significantly different by race (p < .001) and income (p < .000); middle-income women reported time as a barrier more than lower-income women and Whites were likelier to report time as a barrier more than Blacks. Middle-income women perceived greater (p < .01) physical performance benefits from exercise than lower-income women. Social interaction, time expenditure, and body mass index were the strongest predictors of physical activity. The data and findings could be useful for increaseing our understanding of economic and racial disparities in physical activity participation and garnish information for use in constructing interven programs.