Barriers to physical activity in obese adults: a rapid evidence assessment

Toni McIntosh, David Hunter, Susan Royce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Rising rates of obesity are becoming a major problem in the Western world, with multiple implications for individuals’ health and also health service resources. Physical activity can positively influence weight loss and weight loss maintenance; however, levels are low among obese individuals. The aim of this study was to identify the barriers faced by obese individuals which prevent them from engaging with physical activity. A rapid evidence assessment was undertaken based on the framework provided by Bettany-Saltikov. Studies were identified from an electronic database search using key words, reference list search and manual searching of current journal issues. Identified studies were screened for relevance, appraised for quality and relevant data were extracted in order to identify themes for analysis. Seventeen studies were included in the review, of which twelve were quantitative, five qualitative and one mixed methods. Several barriers were identified relating to three main themes: physical, psychological and external barriers. Due to the variety of barriers faced by obese individuals it is important to treat each person as an individual and identify the barriers perceived by them, in order to provide targeted support to overcome these barriers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-284
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number4
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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