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Scand J Caring Sci. 2011 Mar;25(1):62-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00791.x.

Motivators and barriers to exercise among adults with a high risk of type 2 diabetes--a qualitative study.

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Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland.



Type 2 diabetes (T2D) can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Regular exercise for more than 4 hours per week, combined with weight loss and changes in dietary habits reduces the incidence of T2D. The aim of this study was to describe motivators and barriers to exercise among adults with a high risk of T2D.


Altogether, 74 subjects participated in a study on the Effectiveness and Feasibility of Activating Counseling Methods and Videoconferences in Dietary Group Counseling of Subjects with high risk of T2D. The qualitative data were gathered from video-recorded group counselling sessions and were analysed using content analysis.


Enjoyment from exercise, social relationships related to exercise, encouragement from others, benefits to health, and the aim of weight control motivated subjects to exercise. The wish to join people with an active lifestyle, admiration of active friends and willingness to serve as an example for children reflected why exercise was an important value in life. The barriers to exercise were weather/season, health problems, lack of time, work-related factors and lack of interest.


Adults with high risk of T2D experienced many individually meaningful motivators. They experienced few barriers to exercise and highlighted the motivators. Thus, we present that they had a positive attitude towards increasing exercise during participation to counselling. The results can be used when developing counselling methods because they provide concrete content for counselling discussion such as importance of work-related factors, family exercise, time management skills and social support for regular exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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