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‘I'm a failure again, I can't do it’: Attitudes towards, and experiences of, exercise participation in adults with class III obesity

Orange, Samuel; Roebuck, Jessica; Marshall, Phil; Madden, Leigh; Vince, Rebecca; Bell, Beth

Authors

Samuel Orange

Jessica Roebuck

Beth Bell



Abstract

Objectives
Living within a larger body brings unique challenges to exercise participation, which are poorly understood. This qualitative study explored the attitudes towards, and experiences of, exercise participation in adults with class III obesity.
Design
Individual semi-structured qualitative interviews.
Methods
We recruited 30 adults with class III obesity (body mass index: 45.8 ± 8.6 kg/m2) from a specialist multidisciplinary weight management service. Participants took part in semi-structured interviews while participating in a 6-month home-based aerobic and resistance exercise intervention. Open-ended questions were used flexibly to explore their views and experiences of exercise, encompassing barriers, motives and perceived benefits. Transcripts were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.
Results
Three themes were developed: (1) a web of barriers; (2) tailored exercise facilitates positive experiences; and (3) a desire to live a normal life. People with class III obesity perceived that they were unable to do exercise; a view that was attributed to perceived judgement, low physical function, pain during everyday activities and failed weight loss attempts. These complex physical and psychosocial barriers to exercise were described as contributing to exercise avoidance. High value was placed on tailored exercise that accommodates the unique needs of moving in a larger body. A desire to carry out everyday tasks underpinned motivations for exercise.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that multi-component obesity interventions should move away from generic exercise prescriptions designed to maximize energy expenditure, and instead move towards addressing the unique physical and psychosocial needs of people who have class III obesity with tailored person-centred and weight-neutral exercise prescriptions.

Citation

Orange, S., Roebuck, J., Marshall, P., Madden, L., Vince, R., & Bell, B. (in press). ‘I'm a failure again, I can't do it’: Attitudes towards, and experiences of, exercise participation in adults with class III obesity. British Journal of Health Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12739

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 13, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 24, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 25, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2024
Journal British Journal of Health Psychology
Print ISSN 1359-107X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12739
Keywords Barriers; Behaviour change; Exercise; Obesity; Physical activity; Qualitative
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/4709529

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Copyright Statement
© 2024 The Author(s). British Journal of Health Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Psychological Society.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




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