Physical activity improves respiratory, cardiovascular and overall health, and promotes strong muscles and bones. 80% of Americans are not getting enough exercise for optimal health. There are many barriers that people face when it comes to physical activity. The top reported barriers to physical activity include lack of time, interest, and enjoyment, as well as social and self-esteem factors. Those who live in low socioeconomic areas are more likely to face barriers to physical activity.
People in low socioeconomic areas are more likely to have poor health and life expectancy than people who live in high socioeconomic areas. Urban planning, financial constraint, work-life integration, community engagement, social support, and psychological factors lead to the barriers that those who live in low socioeconomic areas face when it comes to physical activity. Barriers to physical exercise include lack of time, social influence, lack of energy, fear of injury and lack of resources. More research about physical activity among adults with low socioeconomic status is needed, especially in industrialized countries. Increased physical activity among those with low socioeconomic status has potential to increase health and well-being of people, yet unfortunately increasing physical activity is an often-overlooked strategy.
Increasing access to physical activity can improve the quality of life and health of Americans of all ages. The CDC guide to strategies to increase physical activity in the community provides guidance for program managers, policy makers, and others on how to select strategies to increase physical activity in the community. In order to increase physical activity at a community-based level, environmental change and policy-related activity needs to take place to promote the benefits of physical activity.