Physical Activity and Women Assignment
The lack of physical activity among adult women living in rural and low income areas is a source of concern. That is because it interacts with inequitable access to resources, poverty and social inequality (in their environments), exposing them to a high burden of non-communicable diseases. In fact, the lack of physical activity has been linked with higher incidences of breast cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease that could result in mortality (World Health Organization, 2019). Five factors have been identified as being responsible for the higher prevalence of physical inactivity among women than their male counterparts. Firstly, women earn less than men thereby hindering them from accessing physical activity facilities that are normally paid for. Secondly, women in rural low income areas are typically subservient and require the permission of the male heads of their family before engaging in physical exercise programs. Thirdly, women have extensive domestic chores that demand much of their time and energy, leaving them overworked and limiting they time they can spend in physical activity. Fourthly, physical activity facilities are normally located away from rural areas, and women have limited mobility to regularly travel to these facilities and participate in their programs. Finally, the community has cultural expectations that restrict the participation of women in physical activity programs (World Health Organization, 2019). As a result, women are disproportionately hindered by existing barriers from participating in physical activity programs. Physical Activity and Women Assignment
An intervention has been identified to address the issue of lack of physical activity among adult women living in rural low income areas. The intervention is an education program that is targeted at the identified women and their family members. It is designed to appeal to the preferences of the target women (ethnic/race specific preferred activities, low health literacy and social control) while addressing the existing cultural barriers (beliefs about wellness and health, and gender roles). To be more precise, the education will offer information on recommended culturally sensitive physical activities that are responsive to the resources available to these communities. This intervention is anticipated to increase the intensity of physical activity among women as well as the time they spend engaging in such activities (Salinas & Parra-Medina, 2019).
The proposed intervention that entails subjecting the target population and their family members to an education program is supported by the social cognitive theory as a framework. The theory posits that behaviors for health and wellness promotion are guided by individual characteristics that include expectations for outcomes, perceived self-efficacy and health knowledge. Expectations for outcomes are what the participating women will expect to happen upon engaging in physical activity. Perceived self-efficacy is the individual confidence that the participating women have in becoming physically activity. Health knowledge includes information about physical activity and nutrition (Zhen-Duan, Engerbretsen & Laroche, 2019). In addition, the theory advances the notion that individuals do not change their behavior as isolated elements, and that the shared sense of community makes the communities interconnected. To be more precise, the interconnectedness arises from shared beliefs in collective efficacy so that any improvements in the women are best achieved through involving the whole family. In this way, the family members act as a collective group that shares its skillsets, motivation and knowledge to endorse and support a new culture of physical activity for women. Overall, the theory presents the notion that actual behavior, environment and individual characteristics are always interacting and influencing each other to predict has individuals will behave in the future. Correspondingly, it is expected that improving the target women’s knowledge levels and getting the family to offer a supportive environment will encourage them to engage in physical activity to improve health and wellness outcomes (Lee et al., 2018; Zhen-Duan, Engerbretsen & Laroche, 2019). Physical Activity and Women Assignment
Lee, C. G., Park, S., Lee, S. H., Kim, H. & Park, J. (2018). Social cognitive theory and physical activity among Korean male high-school students. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(4), 973-980. DOI: 10.1177/1557988318754572. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1557988318754572
Salinas, J. J. & Parra-Medina, D. (2019). Physical activity change after a promotora-led intervention in low income Mexican American women residing in South Texas. BMC Public Health, 19(article number: 782). Retrieved from https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-7105-6
World Health Organization (2019). Physical activity and women. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_women/en/
Zhen-Duan, J., Engerbretsen, B. & Laroche, H. H. (2019). Diet and physical activity changes among low-income families: perspectives of mothers and their children. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 14(1). DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2019.1658700. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17482631.2019.1658700 Physical Activity and Women Assignment