Rural women walking for health

Cindy K. Perry, Anne G. Rosenfeld, Judith Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe rural women's barriers and motivators for participation in a walking program. Twenty rural women, ages 22 to 65, participated in a 12-week walking program. Data from field notes and focus groups were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Data were inductively coded, codes were categorized into themes, and themes were classified as barriers or motivators to adopting a walking program. Three main barriers are identified: balancing family and self, chronic illness gets in the way of routine, and illness or injury breaks routine. Seven motivators are identified: being part of a group, group camaraderie, learning, pacesetter, seeing progress, energizing, and I am a walker. Women report that family responsibilities are a powerful and pervasive barrier. Motivators center on the importance of group interaction. This qualitative study increases our understanding of rural women's barriers and motivators to embarking on and sustaining a regular walking routine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-316
Number of pages22
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronary heart disease
  • Exercise
  • Qualitative content analysis
  • Rural women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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