"…is it normal to be this sore?":: using an online forum to investigate barriers to physical activity


IHI '10: Proceedings of the 1st ACM International Health Informatics Symposium

The importance of regular physical activity to overall health has been well established, yet U.S. adults are leading increasingly sedentary lives. Research suggests that lowering perceived barriers to physical activity is a critical part of interventions that encourage physical activity. In this paper, we describe the top five barriers---two of which have not been reported as principle barriers in the literature---that emerged from our systematic qualitative coding of an online forum used to support a three-month healthy lifestyle intervention. Based on our analysis, we identify design considerations for technologies that encourage and support physical activity. Understanding the needs of a population is a critical step in the design process, and this paper offers unique insights for those working in this growing domain.

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