Background: Women are less likely to meet the suggested levels of physical activity compared to men, particularly in the rural setting. For this reason, community-based interventions associated with physical activity were developed to improve physical activity in village women. We conducted the present study to explore the experience of target group in term of physical activity to identify factors that could be strengthened and the weaknesses that could be improved.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted applying content analysis. The study setting was Saied Abad, a village in the northwest of Iran. The data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted between August 2018 and January 2019. All the participants were rural women, who had experienced at least once doing physical activity in the community-based intervention named Women’s Park.
Results: The findings were classified into two main categories and six subcategories: (a) intrapersonal facilitators, such as habituation, (b) interpersonal facilitators, such as family support, (c) environmental facilitators, such as practical activities, (d) intrapersonal barriers, such as lack of time due to family responsibilities, (e) interpersonal barriers, such as not having the support of friends, and (f) environmental barriers, such as cost.
Conclusion: In the rural women’s experience, the factors affecting doing physical activity were both facilitators and barriers. This study demonstrated that in addition to the intrapersonal factors, doing physical activity is affected by interpersonal and environmental factors. These findings will be helpful in promoting community-based interventions and scheduling rural women’s health promotion behaviors.