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Barriers to Physical Activity

Despite the benefits of physical activity, barriers that prevent people from getting enough physical activity exist. Understanding these barriers is essential to designing and implementing approaches that promote physical activity. People commonly cite lack of time12 and safety issues as barriers.13,14 People also report the following reasons for not adopting more physically active lifestyles15,16

  • Exercising is inconvenient.
  • They lack self-motivation or self-management skills.
  • They find exercise to be boring, or they do not enjoy it.
  • They lack confidence in their ability to be physically active.
  • They lack encouragement, support, or companionship from family and friends.

Other barriers to physical activity include the ways in which communities are designed and built. For example, some communities do not have parks, sidewalks, bicycle trails, or safe and pleasant walking paths.17,18 In addition, functional limitations associated with disabilities, chronic conditions, and age can be barriers for some people.1921