Physical Activity: Exploring Views of Older Russian-Speaking Slavic Immigrants

  • Purath J
  • Van Son C
  • Corbett C
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Many of the 1.3 million Russian-speaking immigrants in the US have chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. They engage in physical activity less often than other groups, and little is known about their views of physical activity. This qualitative study explored physical activity attitudes, beliefs, motivators, and barriers among older Russian-speaking immigrants. In four focus group interviews, 23 participants discussed physical activity. “Movement is life” was a theme throughout all interviews. Walking was the most frequently mentioned activity. Increased energy and decreased pain were described as health benefits. Motivators for physical activity were maintaining function, improved health, and the support of God and family. Barriers included poor health and environmental safety concerns. Participants suggested community walking groups and church-supported programs as useful methods to promote physical activity. Future research includes developing culturally appropriate interventions that utilize physical activity to prevent and manage chronic illness with ethnic minority older adults.




Purath, J., Van Son, C., & Corbett, C. F. (2011). Physical Activity: Exploring Views of Older Russian-Speaking Slavic Immigrants. Nursing Research and Practice, 2011, 1–5.

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