Send to

Choose Destination
Womens Health Issues. 2008 Sep-Oct;18(5):413-22. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

Arranging appropriate activities immigrant women's ideas of enabling exercise.

Author information

Center for Family and Community Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.



Several studies have reported low levels of physical activity among immigrant women. However, few studies have attempted to explore possible causes underlying this phenomenon. This study intended to explore immigrant women's attitudes and experiences of physical activity and exercise. The ultimate goal was to find methods that can increase levels of physical activity among immigrant women.


A qualitative exploratory study was undertaken in Stockholm County, Sweden, involving 63 immigrant women from Chile, Iraq, and Turkey. Data were collected through interviews in 10 focus groups. The analysis was based on grounded theory approaches. Constant comparative analysis and theoretical sampling were employed to construct categories.


The model that emerged illustrated the core process, that is, enabling exercise. The model also described the women's attitudes and experiences and their ideas of how exercise can be made possible. The women agreed that the local community should recognize the problem and arrange exercise in familiar places. In addition, they called for activities that felt appropriate. If appropriate exercise was arranged, the women sometimes decided to participate. Otherwise, they hesitated or waited.


If appropriate activities are arranged, levels of physical activity and exercise might increase among immigrant women. Future studies could explore specific activities that can facilitate immigrant women's opportunities to exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center