Volume 2013, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2220-2749
  • E-ISSN:


Physical inactivity is a global health concern. Evidence suggests low levels of physical activity among Arabic adults living in Middle Eastern countries. To help ensure the success of strategies to promote physical activity, a better understanding of the barriers and facilitators to physical activity is needed. The objective of this article is to present a review of the literature that focuses on the barriers and facilitators to physical activity among Arabic adults. A socio-ecological framework was used to guide this review. Following a database search (2002–2013), a total of 15 studies were included in this review. The findings revealed that barriers (i.e., factors that impede physical activity), occurred at the individual level (e.g., lack of time, health status), social/cultural/policy level (e.g., traditional roles for women, lack of social support, use of housemaids), and the environmental level (e.g., hot weather, lack of exercise facilities). Some of the facilitators (i.e., factors that enable/promote physical activity) were: Muslim religion, desire to have slimmer bodies, and having good social support systems. Future intervention studies aimed at promoting physical activity among Arabic adults need to address these multiple influencing factors.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arab , barrier , facilitator , Middle East , physical activity and UAE
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