Perceived barriers to leisure time physical activity in adults with type 2 diabetes attending primary health care in Oman: a cross-sectional survey

Thamra Al-Ghafri (Lead / Corresponding author), Saud M. Alharthi, Yahya Mohd Al Farsi, Elaine Bannerman, Angela Mary Craigie, Annie S. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
189 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Physical activity is fundamental in diabetes management for good metabolic control. This study aimed to identify barriers to performing leisure time physical activity and explore differences based on gender, age, marital status, employment, education, income and perceived stages of change in physical activity in adults with type 2 diabetes in Oman.Design: Cross-sectional study using an Arabic version of the “Barriers to Being Active” 27 item questionnaire.Setting: Seventeen primary health centres randomly selected in Muscat.Participants: Individuals >18 years with type 2 diabetes, attending diabetes clinic for > 2 years and with no contraindications to performing physical activity.Primary and secondary outcome measures: Participants were asked to rate how far different factors influenced their physical activity, under the following categories: fear of injury, lack of time, social support, energy, willpower, skills, resources, religion and environment. On a scale of 0-9, barriers were considered important if scored ≥5.Results: A total of 305 questionnaires were collected. Most (96%) reported at least one barrier to performing leisure time physical activity. Lack of willpower (44.4%), lack of resources (30.5%) and lack of social support (29.2%) were the most frequently reported barriers. Using chi-square test, lack of willpower was significantly different in individuals with low vs high income (54.2% vs 40%, P=0.002) and in those reporting inactive vs active stages of change for physical activity (50.7% vs 34.7%, P=0.029), lack of resources was significantly different in those with low vs high income (40% vs 24.3%, P=0.004) and married vs unmarried (33.8% vs 18.5%, P=0.018). Lack of social support was significant in females vs males (35.4% vs 20.8%, P=0.005).Conclusions: The findings can inform the design on physical activity intervention studies by testing the impact of strategies which incorporate ways to address reported barriers including approaches that enhance self-efficacy and social support.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere016946
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Physical activity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Primary health care
  • Barriers
  • Oman

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  • Student Theses

    Increasing Physical Activity in Omani Adult Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Attending Primary Health Care Facilities, MUSCAT

    Author: Al-Ghafri, T., 2019

    Supervisor: Anderson, A. (Supervisor), Craigie, A. (Supervisor), Al Farsi, D. Y. (External person) (Supervisor) & Bannerman, E. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


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