Barriers and Facilitators to Physical Activity and FMS in Children Living in Deprived Areas in the UK: Qualitative Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Feb 2;19(3):1717. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031717.


Using the socio-ecological model, this qualitative study aimed to explore teachers' perspectives on the barriers and facilitators to Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) and physical activity engagement in children living in deprived areas in the UK. A purposive sample of 14 primary school teachers participated in semi-structured focus groups drawn from schools situated in lower SES wards and ethnically diverse areas in Central England. Thematic analysis of transcripts identified multiple and interrelated factors across all levels of the socio-ecological model for barriers to FMS and PA (i.e., intrapersonal, interpersonal, organisational, community and policy). Facilitators at three levels of influence were found (i.e., intrapersonal, interpersonal and organisational). We conclude, barriers and enablers to the PA and FMS in children from ethnically diverse backgrounds living in deprived areas are multifactorial and interrelated. At a school level, initiatives to increase PA and develop the FMS needed to be active are likely to be ineffective unless the barriers are addressed at all levels and considered more holistically with their complexity. Multi-disciplinary solutions are needed across sectors given the range of complex and interrelated factors.

Keywords: PE; curriculum; determinants of health; fundamental movement skills; socio-ecological model; teacher training.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research
  • School Teachers
  • Schools*
  • United Kingdom