Online Program

A woman's work is never done: The role of gender in leisure-time physical activity

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

April Keippel, MA, Mission Integration, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings, MT
Amanda L. Golbeck, PhD, School of Public and Community Health Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Elizabeth Ciemins, PhD, MPH, MA, Center for Clinical Translational Research, Billings Clinic, Billings, MT
Dustin Dickerson, MS, Billings Clinic, Billings Clinic, Billings, MT
Hillary S. Hanson, MS, MPH, CPH, Population Health Services, Yellowstone City/County Health Department d.b.a. RiverStone Health, Billings, MT
Tracy Neary, MS, Mission Outreach & Community Benefit, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings, MT
Heather Fink, MA, Grants Division, St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation, Billings, MT
Diane Duin, PhD, MHA, College of Allied Health Professions, Montana State University Billings, Billings, MT
Background/Significance: Physical inactivity contributes to many health problems. Nationally, women report less physical activity than men. Gender, the socially constructed roles and activities deemed appropriate for men and women, is an important factor in women's physical inactivity. Objective/Purpose: Through qualitative analysis, determine the gender-based factors which contribute to physical inactivity for women and identify gender-based opportunities which would enable physical activity. Methods: Focus groups of low-income women, teenagers, business women, new mothers, low-income seniors, active seniors, social service providers, migrant Hispanic women, and American Indian women and men were conducted and transcribed. The transcriptions were analyzed to determine common themes across focus groups. Results: Several gender-based constraints emerged including women's roles as caregiver which left little time or energy for physical activity, women's leisure time activities and hobbies such as knitting and reading which were less active than men's hobbies, and expectations for women's appearance which made them uncomfortable sweating in front of strangers. Gender -based opportunities included women's enjoyment of activity as a social connection, less rigid gender roles for younger women, and a sense of responsibility to set a good example for their families. Discussion/Conclusion: While time is frequently mentioned as a barrier to physical activity for women, a deeper understanding of gender-based constraints and opportunities provide a framework for addressing specific issues related to time such as a woman's role as caregiver.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify three gender-based constraints related to physical activity. Identify three gender-based opportunities related to physical activity.

Keyword(s): Women's Health, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Tracy Neary is Director of Mission Outreach & Community Benefit at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana. Tracy oversees the organization’s community benefit processes from needs assessment to strategic planning to execution of strategies and program evaluation. She received her M.S. in Public Relations after undergraduate work in Organizational Communication and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Montana State University, Billings.
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.