Physical activity can reduce the risk of premature mortality from various chronic diseases. Previous research in Kerala, India indicates several barriers which can impact physical activity levels. Perceptions about the importance of health-promoting physical activity were examined among adults in Kerala and various facilitators, motivators and barriers to physical activity were identified using focus group discussions and interviews with key informants. At present, the attitude of people and health professionals is that physical activity has to be taken up when diagnosed with a disease (obesity, diabetes) and advised by a health professional. Men were more likely to start exercising after being advised by a health worker compared to women who were restricted by family roles and gender norms. Hence, there is an urgent need to include physical activity in all health communications to increase awareness about the role of physical activity in health promotion and disease prevention.


Physical Activity, Inactivity, Qualitative, Low and Middle Income Country, LMIC

Author Bio(s)

Shalini Garg is a senior doctoral fellow at the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology, Trivandrum, India. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Shalini Garg, AMCHSS, III floor, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, India, 650119; E-mail: gargshalini1978@gmail.com.

V Raman Kutty is the Head and Senior Professor at the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, India.


We would like to thank all the people who agreed to participate in the interviews and shared their views with us. We want to thank Harsh for assisting in translating and recording during the focus group discussions and Rupesh for facilitating contact with the gatekeepers.

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