Understanding Impediments and Enablers to Physical Activity among African American Adults: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies
Objective: To systematically assess and summarize impediments and facilitating factors impacting physical activity participation among African American Adults.
Method: A systematic search of the literature was conducted, which included electronic databases, as well as reference list of relevant papers. Only qualitative studies which measured race and ethnicity and had African American as adult participants were included. The main themes and categories from the qualitative studies pertaining to impediments and facilitators to physical activity were identified and summarized, through descriptive meta-synthesis.
Result: Twenty nine qualitative studies were included. Twenty-one of the studies only focused on adult African American women, and the barriers and facilitators to physical activity as perceived by them. The biggest individual enabler towards physical activity was the positive health benefits associated with regular physical activity. Social support and easy access to parks and facilities were also identified as enablers. Barriers toward physical activity were lack of time, lack of motivation, long work hours, and physical disabilities.
Conclusions: The findings of this review study should be useful to those planning an intervention in African American communities. There is also a need for qualitative studies conducted only among African American men, to better understand their perspective on the facilitators and barriers to physical activity.
0523: Physical education
0680: Health education