The Physical Activity-Related Barriers and Facilitators Perceived by Men Living in Rural Communities

Am J Mens Health. 2017 Jul;11(4):1130-1132. doi: 10.1177/1557988315598368. Epub 2015 Jul 31.


Men, especially those living in rural areas, experience chronic disease at higher rates than the general population. Physical activity is a well-established protective factor against many chronic diseases; however, only a small fraction of men are meeting national guidelines for physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived physical activity-related barriers and facilitators experienced by men living in rural areas in Canada. Participants completed a paper-and-pencil or online survey and asked to select personally relevant physical activity-related barriers and facilitators from a list of 9 and 10 choices, respectively. A total of 149 men completed the survey (50.3% between the ages of 18 and 55 years; 43.0% older than 55 years). Participants were predominantly from rural areas and smaller communities. Overall, the response options "I'm too tired," "I don't have enough time," and "I think I get enough exercise as work" were the three most frequently cited barriers to regular physical activity. The response options "Personal motivation to be healthy," "I enjoy it," and "Support from family and/or friends" were the three most often cited facilitators to physical activity. Results are similar to those shown in other populations. Results can be used to inform the development of policies and programs that aim to increase the physical activity levels of men living in rural areas and small communities.

Keywords: exercise; general health and wellness; population-based health care issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Canada
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Rural Population
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grant support