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Keywords:

  • barriers;
  • cultural strategies;
  • facilitators;
  • Latin-American health physical activity

Despite the known benefits of regular physical activity for preventing stroke and cardiovascular disease, middle-aged and older Latin-American women continue to be physically inactive and demonstrate a high incidence of obesity. Ethnographic methodology was used to explore factors that influenced this health behavior in 25 Latin-American women. Perceptions of health, the health activities in which they engaged, and the factors that influenced their participation in physical activity comprised the three categories of responses. Facilitators and barriers were identified as the two primary categories and were further sorted into intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Conclusions of this study were that these Latin American women, despite multiple role demands and other barriers, participated in some form of physical activity; however, culturally sensitive strategies are needed to promote sustained physical activity in this population.