Objective: To explore the barriers to initiating and maintaining regular physical activity (PA) among UK Indian, Pakistani and White British adults in their 60s.
Design: An exploratory qualitative approach was utilised using 15 focus groups and 40 in-depth interviews. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants with different experiences of participation or non-participation in PA.
Results: Misunderstandings about the value of exercise in later life, particularly for those with ongoing healthcare problems, were identified in UK South Asian and White British older adults' accounts of their experience of the barriers to initiating and maintaining regular PA. Both groups and genders said that PA could exacerbate pre-existing health problems and result in physical harm. Although most beliefs were similar to those of the White British, ethnic-specific factors, such as language barriers, religious beliefs and cultural practices could act as additional barriers to undertaking and maintaining PA among UK South Asian older adults.
Conclusions and implications: Understanding the multiple levels of influence on older adults' PA behaviour can provide the basis for developing comprehensive approaches to health promotion initiatives aimed at increasing PA levels. Healthcare providers need to understand the characteristics and specific barriers faced by these groups of older adults; work with older people from these groups to develop culturally appropriate PA programmes and address the misunderstandings and misconceptions about the value of exercise in later-life, particularly in those with ongoing health problems.
- older adults
- physical activity
- South Asian
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health