Individual, social and environmental factors influencing physical activity levels and behaviours of multiethnic socio-economically disadvantaged urban mothers in Canada: A mixed methods approach

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Existing data provide little insight into the physical activity context of multiethnic socio-economically disadvantaged mothers in Canada. Our primary objectives were: (1) to use focus group methodology to develop tools to identify the individual, social, and environmental factors influencing utilitarian and leisure time physical activities (LTPA) of multiethnic SED mothers; and (2) to use a women specific physical activity survey tool to assess psychosocial barriers and supports and to quantify individual physical activity (PA) levels of multi-ethnic SED mothers in Canada.<br /><br />METHODS: Qualitative focus group sessions were conducted in West, Central and Eastern Canada with multiethnic SED mothers (n = 6 focus groups; n = 42 SED mothers) and with health and recreation professionals (HRPs) (n = 5 focus groups; n = 25 HRPs) involved in community PA programming for multiethnic SED mothers. Administration of the women specific Kaiser Physical Activity Survey (KPAS) tool was completed by consenting SED mothers (n = 59).<br /><br />RESULTS: More than half of SED mothers were employed and had higher total PA scores with occupation included than unemployed mothers. However, nearly 60% of both groups were overweight or obese. Barriers to LTPA included the lack of available, affordable and accessible LTPA programs that responded to cultural and social needs. Concerns for safety, nonsupportive cultural and social norms and the winter climate were identified as key barriers to both utilitarian and LTPA.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: Findings show that multiethnic SED mothers experience many barriers to utilitarian and LTPA opportunities within their communities. The varying LTPA levels among these multi-ethnic SED mothers and the occurrence of overweight and obesity suggests that current LTPA programs are likely insufficient to maintain healthy body weights.

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APA

Mansfield, E. D., Ducharme, N., & Koski, K. G. (2012). Individual, social and environmental factors influencing physical activity levels and behaviours of multiethnic socio-economically disadvantaged urban mothers in Canada: A mixed methods approach. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-9-42

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