Barriers and Enablers to Older Indigenous People Engaging in Physical Activity—A Qualitative Systematic Review

Margaret J.R. Gidgup, Marion Kickett, Tammy Weselman, Keith Hill, Julieann Coombes, Rebecca Ivers, Nicole Bowser, Vilma Palacios, Anne Marie Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this qualitative systematic review was to synthesize all evidence to understand the barriers and enablers to older Indigenous peoples (aged 40 years and older) engaging in physical activity. Four databases were searched. Study quality was assessed from an Indigenous perspective, using an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander quality appraisal tool. Data were analyzed using thematic synthesis. There were 4,246 articles screened with 23 articles and one report included from over 30 Indigenous communities across four countries. Cultural Safety and Security was a key enabler, including developing physical activity programs which are led by Indigenous communities and preference Indigenous values. Colonization was a key barrier that created mistrust and uncertainty. Social Determinants of Health, including cost, were supported by successful programs, but if not addressed, were demotivators of engagement. Older Indigenous peoples identified barriers and enablers that can direct the development of sustainable, culturally appropriate physical activity programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-352
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Aboriginal
  • aged
  • exercise
  • First Nations

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