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Adolescents' perspectives on the barriers and facilitators of physical activity: a systematic review of qualitative studies

11 Sep 2015

This article examined qualitative studies of adolescents’ perspectives about the facilitators and barriers of physical activity, published from 2007 to 2014. A systematic review of ‘Web of Science’, ‘EBSCO’, ‘Psychinfo’ and ‘ERIC’ databases was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. The following keywords were used: ‘physical activity’ and ‘physical education’, each one individually associated with ‘correlate’, ‘determinant’, ‘facilitator’, ‘barrier’, ‘factor influen*’, and with ‘qualitative’, ‘focus group’, ‘interview’, "narrative’. Out of 3815 studies initially identified, due to inclusion and quality criteria, only 12 were fully reviewed. Studies’ outcomes were analyzed through thematic analysis. The majority of these reported research with young adolescent girls. Few studies have considered the socioeconomic status influence. According to young people’s perspectives, the main facilitators and hampering factors to their participation in physical activity were the following: attitude toward physical activity; motivation; perceptions of competence and body image; fun; influence of friends, family and physical education teachers and environmental physical activity opportunities. Specific life transition periods were referred only as a barrier to physical activity. Strategies of pedagogical actions and for developing physical activity intervention programs were discussed, in order to effectively promote the adoption of active lifestyles among youth.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Health Education Research