Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

African American Women's Exercise Barriers: A Focus-Group Study

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

African American Women's Exercise Barriers: A Focus-Group Study

Article excerpt

Pamela Crosson, Wayne State University, Weimo Zhu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Gail Timm, Wayne State University

African American women experience the highest prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke, which may be due in part to their sedentary lifestyle. In a previous large-scale (N = 480) survey study of race and exercise barriers, it was found that African American women from a midwestern inner city had unique perceived exercise barriers. To further understand indepth the uniqueness of these barriers, five 1-2-hr focus-group interviews were conducted. Each group consisted of 4-5 African American women ages 40-70 years (total n = 21, mean age = 54.8), who were selected and grouped based on their commonalities identified from the previous study (i.e., retired, working, active, sedentary, and lack of discipline). The seven most severe barriers found in the previous study were used to guide the interviews, which were taped. The transcripts were coded and analyzed using QSR NUD[*]IST, a qualitative analytical software. Four common links were found in each of the focus groups: (a) all knew the benefits of being phys ically active, (b) all expressed enjoyment from being physically active, (c) walking was the main source of physical activity for all groups, and (d) all thought hair maintenance and an unsafe environment (especially inadequate street lights and vicious unleashed dogs) were potential barriers. …

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