Understanding the factors related to exercise among women is required for health care providers to encourage the women to incorporate exercise in daily activities. Also, understanding the hidden angles of this phenomenon can help the nurses and policy makers to promote PA among women in the community. This qualitative study with focus group discussion FGD approach was conducted from April to June It is a tool for data collection that provides an opportunity for the users to compare reflection on their behaviors.
A qualitative conventional content analysis method was used for data analysis. Content analysis is a standard approach in health and social sciences that uses a set of procedures to make replicable and valid inferences from the textual data. Purposive sampling was used for the recruitment of participants.
The inclusion criteria were women with valuable experiences on the study topic, age of years, and willingness to take part in this study. Non-Iranian ethnicity was the exclusion criterion. Three out of 6 most popular urban healthcare centers were chosen randomly for the recruitment of participants. The health care centers were referral settings from different areas of the city and for women with different socioeconomic conditions; this contributed to sampling with a maximum variation.
Also, easy access to women and appropriate space for holding FGDs were the other reasons for using these healthcare centers for data collection. Also, the university campuses and sport clubs were chosen as other sampling settings. A wide range of criteria were used to determine the adequate number of participants and groups for data collection. The groups were homogeneous based on age, level of activity and employment to ensure the validity. Attentions were paid to the composition of groups in terms of similarities in experiences.
The FGD and in depth interview are two valuable strategies for data collection in qualitative research. All conversations were recorded using a voice recorder and in addition field notes were taken in all FGDs. In each FGD, a facilitator and a note taker were present and a circle mode of sitting was provided to facilitate communication. A summary of the title and research objectives, rules and duration of the sessions was presented to the participants.
For increasing reliability and providing necessary equivalence for all interviews, the facilitator and note taker remained unchanged and participated in all stages of data analysis. The duration of each session was minutes and a tape-recorder was used for recording the interviews. Data collection and analysis were conducted concurrently and continued until data saturation was reached.
The FGD guide provided a framework for the moderator to ask and probe the questions.
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Subsequently, words, phrases and sentences were labeled as codes. Next, the initial codes with similar meanings were arranged and grouped into subcategories and categories. Two researchers who conducted FGDs listened to the audiotapes and compared them with the transcriptions. They independently reviewed the transcripts and identified the key categories. For consistency during the coding process, a researcher had the main responsibility for guiding the analysis process, which facilitated the final compilation of the key categories using illustrative quotes.
Prior to the interviews, the participants were informed of the purpose and method of the study and the informed consent form was signed by those women who willingly agreed to take part in this study. Participation in the study was voluntary and they could withdraw from the study at any time. Trustworthiness of the Data: The criteria suggested by Lincoln et al. It involved establishing credibility, transferability, dependability and conformability. Prolonged engagement, triangulation, peer debriefing and member-checking ensured the credibility.
Maintaining variation in sampling in terms of the research zone and participants, member checking and peer debriefing enhanced the credibility of the findings. T Description was provided for establishing the transferability. Dependability was achieved through audit trail. All documents including the records and computer files were saved for conformability. The mean age of the participants was 34 years years Table 1.
The categories were extracted from 20 subcategories Table 2.
Individual preferences are mentioned by many participants. Preference for a specific setting was addressed by the majority of the participants. One employed woman said:.
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Another person declared:. Preference to do group exercise was highlighted by the majority of the participants. According to their viewpoints, they enjoyed group exercise. One of them stated:. I am scared of walking alone. In group exercise, I can find a person to talk with.
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Planning was considered as one of the main factors for doing PA in women. The majority of the participants stressed the importance of planning for doing exercise. They pointed many aspects of this issue. The family role was described by many participants. They believed that they could play as an advocator. One woman stated:.
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On the other hand, some women pointed to the role of the family as an obstacle to exercise. In this regard, a student stated:. It is the time to study! Exercise as one part of daily routine was mentioned by many participants. According to their perspectives, it is very important to do exercise as a program in daily activity.
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One employed woman declared:. I cook the meal for the next day every night, so I am free in the morning. My husband wakes me up early and we go together to the park to do exercise. Exercise as a habit was addressed by several participants. They thought habitual behavior like doing exercise can influence PA in women. One of the participants said:. Some participants stated that habits formed in childhood do not matter in schools.
In this regard, a student pointed:. Also, if another class was behind the schedule, the teacher would use the exercise time to make up for it. The participants believed that it was essential to do exercise and their perspectives regarding PA depended on motivational factors. The benefits of exercise and PA were described by numerous participants in various domains including physical, emotional and social. They believed that benefits were the key element of doing and continuing PA.
They mentioned that they experienced the aforementioned benefits in various domains of their life. Doing exercise for weight loss instead of having a strict diet or using weight loss drugs was mentioned by many participants. One woman mentioned:. I prefer doing exercise every day rather than using drugs that may damage my liver and kidneys.
I lost five kilograms by doing body fitness exercises and it became regular. I do not like weight loss drugs or using strict diets to lose weight. Also, I become more cheerful and it influenced mood in the family.
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The social domains of PA were emphasized by the majority of the participants. Two of women mentioned:. When I go for a walk, I see more people and talk to them. One girl stressed that her perspectives due to doing exercise were reflected in her future job:. A married woman mentioned:. Encouragement has an important role in beginning and continuing doing PA. If you do not want to be blamed for laziness from your body in the next world, do yoga.
The next day, I had lots of phone calls from women that had found a passion for Yoga. If I am not alarmed, I do not move. When my father got backache, he got alarmed and started to do exercise every morning. They believed that barriers to PA were various and multiple. Gender issues were considered as an important inhibitor to do exercise in women, asstated by many participants. With regard to gender issues, a woman stated:. Women can compete in the national level championship, due to the dress codes.
Regarding the economical issues of PA, a participant stated:.