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Physical activity behaviours of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women living in Australia: A qualitative study of socio-cultural influences

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-26

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Twelve focus group sessions were undertaken with CALD women (N = 110) from Bosnian, Arabic speaking, Filipino and Sudanese communities in three regions: New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. In a semi-structured, open table discussion, participants were encouraged to share their opinions, perceptions and beliefs regarding socio-cultural influences on their physical activity behaviours. Common and ethnic-specific themes emerged from the discussions.Common themes included: knowledge of physical activity, differing physical activity levels, and the effects of psychological and socio-cultural factors, environmental factors, and perceptions of ill-health and injury, on physical activity behaviours. Ethnic-specific themes indicated that post-war trauma, religious beliefs and obligations, socio-economic status, social isolation and the acceptance of traditional cultural activities, greatly influenced the physical activity behaviours of Bosnian, Arabic speaking, Filipino and Sudanese women living in communities throughout Australia.This study demonstrates that attitudes and understandings of health and wellbeing are complex, and have a strong socio-cultural influence. The findings of the present study can be used not only to inform further health promotion initiatives, but also as a platform for further research with consumers of these services and with those who deliver such services.Australia has witnessed a rapid increase in migration over the past 10 years, with annual migrant numbers doubling as a proportion of the total population [1]. With the diversity of this growing population Australia faces a number of population health challenges. Close examination of epidemiological data reveals particular burdens of disease in women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities now living throughout Australia [2]. Moreover, there is a consensus among western countries, including Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States and Canada, that signif


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