Giving young Emirati women a voice: Participatory action research on physical activity

Abstract

International evidence on health promotion indicates the importance of regular physical activity for preventing and reducing the incidence of obesity and chronic diseases. This study investigated the relationship between physical activity and the social milieu of young Muslim women in the United Arab Emirates. This participatory action research project included semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus groups and yielded qualitative data. Set within a context of rapid social change, perceived barriers to daily exercise influenced participants’ physical activity levels and overall well-being. Results indicated a lack of physical exercise and strategies were proposed for implementation by college staff and students. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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