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

Rebecca Genoe, Toni Liechty, June Ledrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-70
JournalThe International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


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