Perceptions of Physical Activity in Middle-aged Women with Type 2 Diabetes

West J Nurs Res. 2021 Jul;43(7):640-648. doi: 10.1177/0193945920973151. Epub 2020 Nov 22.


Physical activity is recommended for middle-aged women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) to improve health and prevent disease complications. However, most middle-aged women with T2D have low physical activity levels and therefore are at higher risk for T2D-associated cardiovascular complications. To explore their perceptions of physical activity and strategies for increasing participation, the investigators conducted a phenomenological study with a sample of middle-aged women with T2D using voice-recorded focus group discussions. Using a modified Giorgi data analysis method, the investigators uncovered the following themes: types of physical activity; benefits; barriers and limitations; stage of life; motivators; regret; living with diabetes; and strategies. Participants perceived walking as an activity accessible to most women. The significance of physical activity is highlighted by the participant-recommended strategy to "just keep moving."

Keywords: diabetes; exercise; middle-aged women; phenomenology; physical activity; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Walking