Rates of exercise participation among African Americans is low. Identifying and overcoming perceived benefits/barriers unique to African American women (AAW) may increase their exercise participation. The purpose of this study was to describe perceived benefits/barriers to exercise in AAW before and after participation in a walking program.Method:
Thirty-five postmenopausal AAW participated in a 7-week structured walking program with 2 walking goals. Perceived benefits and barriers to exercise were assessed using the Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale at the beginning and end of the program. Participants engaged in a postintervention interview to further assess benefits/barriers to exercise participation.Results:
Perceived benefits/barriers to exercise did not change significantly with participation in a walking program. Lack of time due to work and family responsibilities affected achievement of the brisk walking goal.Conclusions:
Postmenopausal AAW in this study strongly believed in the benefits of exercising and had increased levels of participation in a walking program when lack of time was not a barrier. Overcoming this barrier is the true challenge to health care professionals.