“When it’s My Time, I Tend to Just Sit”: Challenges and Opportunities for Healthy, Active Living Among Mature Women

By Rebecca Genoe, Toni Liechty and June LeDrew.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Physical activity is recognized as a method of prevention and treatment of a wide range of physical and psychological disorders (Dishman et al., 2004). People who are physically inactive are twice as likely to be at risk for heart disease or stroke as people who are physically active (Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2008).

Four women of aboriginal ancestry between 40-50 years of age volunteered to wear pedometers (step-counters that measure a level of physical activity) and record their steps for a 15-week period. This community-based project also used photovoice, “a participatory action research method in which individuals photograph their everyday health and work realities” (Baker & Wang, 2006, p. 1405).

Participants were asked to take photographs that represented challenges and opportunities to their healthy, active living. Interviews based on participants’ photographs were juxtaposed alongside the pedometer data collected and systematically analyzed. Findings suggest that for participants in this sample, engaging in healthy, active living required taking advantage of opportunities and making appropriate health decisions; incentives other than their personal health were needed to encourage healthy, active living; and, interpersonal relationships provided motivation for physical activity. The findings presented more questions than answers as, at times, the lines between opportunities and challenges to healthy, active living were blurry. Authors conclude by discussing the challenges encountered during this project related to studying and promoting healthy, active lifestyles.

Keywords: Women, Healthy Active Living, Photovoice, Pedometer, Health Literacy

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.55-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.066MB).

Dr. Rebecca Genoe

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Rebecca Genoe is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies at The University of Regina. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo and then completed a Master of Arts in Leisure Studies at Dalhousie University. She completed a PhD at the University of Waterloo in Recreation and Leisure Studies, with a specialization in aging, health, and well-being. Her research interests are in the area of leisure and aging.

Dr. Toni Liechty

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Toni Liechty is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies at The University of Regina. She earned degrees in recreation management at Utah State University, Brigham Young University and recently completed a PhD in Leisure Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Her research focus is the relationship between body image, embodiment, and leisure patterns and experiences. Her most current publication in the Journal of Leisure Research is entitled, “The role of body image in older women’s leisure.”

Dr. June LeDrew

Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

June LeDrew PhD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies and has been employed at the University of Regina for 22 years. She works extensively in partnership with community-based groups working to improve upon issues relating to the health and physical activity of children and their caregivers.