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Strategies for Physical Activity Maintenance in African American Women

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Objective : To examine whether African American women who were exercise maintainers reported the same barriers to and benefits from exercise as currently inactive women and to describe maintainers' strategies for exercise maintenance.

Methods : Semistructured qualitative interviews.

Results : Ten women were classified as exercise maintainers and 9 as relapsers. Both groups reported similar benefits from and barriers to exercise. Maintainers reported strategies they used to sustain their exercise programs: wanting to act as a role model, seeking out social support, and setting goals.

Conclusions : Programs that address barriers to exercise may not be successful unless coupled with facilitators that promote maintenance.

Keywords: African American women; exercise maintenance; physical activity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Graduate Student, Health Services, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, WA.

Publication date: September 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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