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Barriers and facilitators to being physically active on a rural, Northern Plains American Indian Reservation

Lisa A. Jahns, Leander R. McDonald, Ann Wadsworth, Charles Morin, Yan Liu
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2014 v.11 no.11 pp. 12053-12603
American Indians, adults, chronic diseases, focus groups, obesity, physical activity, rural areas, United States
American Indians have among the highest prevalence of obesity and chronic disease in the US. Physical activity (PA) is associated with maintenance of a healthy body weight and prevention of some chronic diseases, yet a large proportion of American Indians do not engage in any PA. The objectives of this study were to identify barriers to and facilitators of PA among American Indian adults living on a rural, Northern Plains reservation to aid in the development of interventions to increase PA. Adults participated in focus groups asking about either barriers to, or facilitators of, being PA. Participants ranked 21 barriers and 18 facilitators. Barriers to PA included lack of time and availability of safe or convenient locations. Facilitators included knowledge of health benefits and enjoyment in being active. Responses provide direction for locally designed community-based programs to promote facilitators and decrease barriers to individual’s engagement in PA.