Online Program

Socio-cultural barriers to physical activity among females: A systematic review

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Imran Naeem, Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
BACKGROUND Although environmental factors may influence the ability of either gender to perform physical activity, females are more likely to be affected by the socio-cultural barriers because of their gender roles OBJECTIVE We conducted this systematic review in order to examine available evidence on socio-culture barriers to physical activity among females METHODS PubMed and Google scholar were used to identify relevant studies. After excluding studies not discussing socio-cultural barriers and those with incomplete information, 33 studies were selected for this systematic review RESULTS Child care, household work, cultural beliefs, social isolation following migration, lack of social support from family and living in extended families,unsafe neighbourhood environment, lack of culturally appropriate facilities were leading social and cultural barriers whereas having family members indulged in and observing people performing physical activity in neighborhood were positively associated with levels of physical activity among women. Women were considered as inappropriately behaving while performing physical activity. However, university and college students were found unaffected by this taboo. Living in rural areas, having unfavorable beliefs, past experiences of wars were factors leading to failure of women to attain recommended levels of physical activity CONCLUSION Available evidence suggests that women are a disadvantaged group loaded with burden of social responsibilities. Child care, household work, cultural beliefs, social isolation and unsafe neighborhood environment are the leading social and cultural factors that restrict a female's ability to perform physical activity. Socio-cultural barriers highlighted in this systematic review provide an opportunity for designing targeted interventions

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify various socio-cultural barriers to physical activity faced by females in various settings, across different countries and religions Describe how these barriers can affect health of females belonging to different socio-economic status, different family set ups (joint/nuclear) and beliefs

Keyword(s): Social Inequalities, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for concept, design, literature search, synthesis of evidence and write up of this manuscript. I had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis and findings
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.