Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 45 Number 2, 2008
Pages 315 — 322

Abstract - Barriers associated with exercise and community access for individuals with stroke

James H. Rimmer, PhD;1* Edward Wang, PhD;2 Donald Smith, MS2

1Department of Disability and Human Development and 2College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Abstract — Increasing participation in physical activity among people with stroke continues to be a major challenge for healthcare professionals. We administered a survey to a group of 83 adults with unilateral stroke (mean age = 54.2 yr) to determine their perceived barriers to exercise. The five most common barriers in rank order were (1) cost of the program (61%), (2) lack of awareness of a fitness center in the area (57%), (3) no means of transportation to a fitness center (57%), (4) no knowledge of how to exercise (46%), and (5) no knowledge of where to exercise (44%). The least common barriers were (1) lack of interest (16%), (2) lack of time (11%), and (3) concern that exercise would worsen their condition (1%). People with stroke reported several barriers that prevented or reduced their participation in exercise. Healthcare professionals must identify and remove these barriers to promote greater participation in exercise among people with stroke.

Key words: environmental barriers, exercise, fitness center, health promotion, personal barriers, physical activity, physical disabilities, rehabilitation, stroke, survey.

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