Comparison of the traits of physically active and inactive women

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To explore the determinants of physical activity for working women and to compare traits of active with inactive women.

Data sources:

Original research articles, books, government reports, and self-report survey data from 373 university employees who attended an employer-sponsored health screening.


Active women had lower body mass indexes and more beneficial high-density lipoprotein cholesterol when compared to inactive women. They were more likely to have a past history of sustained physical activity. Significant psychosocial determinants to physical activity included time constraints, confidence in finding an activity that can be enjoyed in bad weather, and not being too tired at the end of the day to engage in physical activity.

Implications for practice:

Nurse practitioners are in key positions to help women increase their levels of physical activity. Knowing the traits of active women can help busy clinicians focus interventions that address those traits, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness.

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