Motivational factors and barriers towards initiating and maintaining strength training in women: a systematic review and meta-synthesis

Vasudevan, Aishwarya and Ford, Elizabeth (2021) Motivational factors and barriers towards initiating and maintaining strength training in women: a systematic review and meta-synthesis. Prevention Science. ISSN 1389-4986

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Strength training (ST) or resistance training is important in the development and maintenance of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health in women of all ages; however, uptake of ST amongst women is low. To improve female musculoskeletal health, it is vital that more women are encouraged to participate in ST to maintain musculoskeletal integrity. This systematic review aimed to identify motivators and barriers to women initiating and maintaining ST. Following protocol registration and systematic search, studies were included if they were primary qualitative or mixed-method studies reporting participant verbatim quotes, included adult women, and focused on motivators and barriers for ST. Searches generated 2534 articles from 3 databases, with 20 studies (N = 402 participants) meeting eligibility criteria. Participant quotes and authors’ interpretations were analysed using thematic synthesis. The most frequently observed barriers were gender-based stigmas, discouragement, and negative comments, particularly in women currently engaging in ST. Other factors associated with poor adherence included boredom, poor knowledge of ST, poor gym accessibility, lack of supervision or routine, and difficulty in balancing work and family life. Social support from friends and family, words of affirmation, and accompaniment facilitated ST, particularly in older women. Women who saw expected results such as weight loss were motivated to continue ST. Interventions aimed at increasing participation in ST amongst women should focus on the specific benefits valued by women and the dissemination of accurate information to counter misconceptions and increase knowledge. The adaptation of gym environments to make them more welcoming to women, and reduce gender-focused criticism, is especially important.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 09:40
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2021 09:45

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