Insufficient physical activity is an established risk factor for numerous chronic diseases and for premature death. Accumulating evidence reveals that prolonged sedentary time is detrimental, independent of the protective effects of physical activity. Although studies have explored correlates of physical activity among ethnic minority populations, few have examined factors related to sedentary behavior. Therefore, we conducted a preliminary investigation into urban adults' perceptions of sedentary behavior alongside perceived barriers and enablers to physical activity. In-depth semi-structured interviews were used to evaluate perceptions of physical activity and sedentary behavior in a sample of low-income, ethnic minority adults. The framework approach guided researchers in analyzing the qualitative data. Participants were well aware of the positive health benefits of physical activity. However, most admitted not regularly engaging in physical activity and cited numerous barriers to activity, such as lack of time, insufficient finances, and neighborhood crime. Enablers included weight loss, the presence of social support, and the availability of safe parks conducive to exercise. In comparison, participants were primarily unfamiliar with the term "sedentary behavior" and did not perceive a relationship between sedentary behavior and health outcomes. Our findings illustrate the need to increase the awareness of negative health implications of prolonged sedentary time while continuing to address the multiple impediments to physical activity as a way to combat chronic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health