Submitted: 24 Jan 2023
Revision: 10 Dec 2023
Accepted: 14 Dec 2023
ePublished: 29 Dec 2023
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J Educ Community Health. 2023;10(4): 191-202.
doi: 10.34172/jech.2230

Scopus ID: 85186104955
  Abstract View: 458
  PDF Download: 292

Physical Activity

Original Article

A Qualitative Investigation of the Determinants Influencing Physical Activity Among Women in Ilam Town

Mohammad Sadegh Abedzadeh Zavareh 1 ORCID logo, Fatemeh Shirzadi 1 ORCID logo, Manijeh Hoseiny-Rad 2* ORCID logo, Ali-Ashraf Aivazi 3 ORCID logo

1 Department of Public Health, School of Health, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran
2 Department of Biology Education, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Vector Biology & Control, School of Health, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Manijeh Hoseiny-Rad, Email: m.hosseinirad@cfu.ac.ir, Email: m.hosseinirad85@gmail.com


Background: The female population above the age of 50 exhibits a higher inclination toward sedentary lifestyles compared to their counterparts. Moreover, physiological factors, such as breastfeeding, pregnancy, and menopause, render women more susceptible to ailments and disabilities. This study was conducted in an attempt to discern various elements contributing to women’s physical activity levels in Ilam town.

Methods: A targeted sampling approach was employed for this qualitative investigation. The data collection involved conducting individual interviews with 16 females who fell within the middle-aged bracket of 30–59 years in the year 2019 in Ilam town, Iran. These interviews followed a semi-structured format wherein open-ended questions were asked that aimed at gaining clear and comprehensive insights without any biasing influence. To derive patterns from these interviews, the content analysis method was utilized by identifying differences and similarities among codes, along with repetitions of semantic units. For this purpose, MAXQDA software (version 10) facilitated effective analysis.

Results: Upon analyzing the obtained information from participants aged around 40, primarily homemakers; several categories emerged pertaining to advantages associated with regular physical activity, as cited by the respondents themselves. The overall outcome thus encompassed four distinct categories, disclosing beneficence related to consistent exercise engagement among them. The findings of the study were divided into three primary classifications, including comprehending the advantages of physical activity, explanatory factors, and persuasive factors. Additionally, there were barriers to regular physical activity that fell into seven major categories, including family, social, customary, economic, environmental, and cultural spheres. Each barrier encompassed both tangible and intangible aspects.

Conclusion: The participants provided accounts of various individual, socioeconomic, political, and environmental elements that fostered consistent engagement in physical activity. Moreover, the study subjects reported encountering a range of barriers and facilitators with respect to cultural and economic influences on their physical activity levels. Therefore, strategies devised to encourage women’s involvement in physical activity should primarily focus on bolstering social support knowledge and self-efficacy while concurrently minimizing or eliminating cultural and economic hindrances. These socio-cultural factors should also be considered when formulating future initiatives by communities, organizations, and policymakers so as to develop interventions that more effectively align with the needs and perspectives of women.

Please cite this article as follows: Abedzadeh Zavareh MS, Shirzadi F, Hoseiny-Rad M, Aivazi AA. A qualitative investigation of the determinants influencing physical activity among women in Ilam town. J Educ Community Health. 2023; 10(4):191-202. doi:10.34172/ jech.2230
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