Physical Activity Experiences of Adult Female Forced Immigrants: A Review

Kristina Stankova

Freelance researcher and writer

There is evidence of the positive effects of physical activity on vulnerable groups, but researchers must still take into account considerations such as culture and gender in designing and delivering sport for forced immigrants in order to achieve these effects. In this regard, adult female forced immigrants make up one of the most underserved and least researched group of people. They are often less healthy than male immigrants due to various factors that include socio-cultural gender roles, family caregiving responsibilities, language barriers, financial constraints, and limited health literacy. Besides, for many women it is crucial to have a place to exercise that is considered “safe” by their culture, not only for their own safety but also for the community as a whole. If no preventive action is taken against all these impediments, the effects of sedentary, isolated behaviour can result in serious health problems and, apart from having very negative life experiences, these women eventually become a burden on the healthcare system of the resettlement country.

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