Obese women face many exercise barriers

Oct. 6, 2008 at 1:51 AM
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PHOENIX, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Some of the barriers of obese women to getting exercise include feeling self-conscious, not wanting to fail and fear of injury, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers from the Center for Obesity Research and Education and the department of kinesiology at Temple University in Philadelphia found that obese women face a significant number of barriers when it comes to exercise, more so than their normal weight counterparts.

Melissa Napolitano and her team surveyed data collected from 278 women, both normal weight and obese, enrolled in a yearlong physical activity encouragement study. At baseline, and at a three- and 12-month follow up, all participants were administered a questionnaire to determine what factors kept them from getting exercise -- including perceived poor health, having minor aches or pains or feeling too overweight to exercise.

Obese women reported greater barriers to being active than normal weight women. For obese women, barriers they identified at the beginning of the study predicted how much or how little they would be exercising at the 12 month follow-up.

"These might sound like excuses to some people, but for those who have these aversions, they're real problems," Napolitano said in a statement.

The research was presented at the Obesity Society's annual meeting in Phoenix.

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