Author(s): Wiklund M, Olsn MF, Willn C
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Today, it is known that adults suffering from obesity benefit from physical activity. There is however lack of research with regard to how patients with severe obesity experience physical activity. It is important to explore this topic in order to be able to improve communication with and to tailor information and exercise programmes for patients suffering with obesity. The aim of the present qualitative study was to describe how adults with severe obesity, awaiting gastric bypass surgery experience physical activity. METHODS: A qualitative method inspired by a phenomenographic approach was used to analyze the data. Data collection was performed by in-depth semi-structured interviews with 18 patients. All patients were aged between 18 and 65 years, suffered from severe obesity and were scheduled for laparoscopic Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden. RESULTS: The analysis resulted in nine qualitatively different categories that were then divided into four aspects: 'the obese body', 'the mind', 'knowledge' and 'the environment'. Many patients experienced well-being after physical activity, but most patients were uncomfortable with appearing in public wearing exercise clothing. The excess weight itself was considered an obstacle, and weight loss was assumed to facilitate physical activity. Exercising together with someone at the same level of fitness increased motivation. A white lie about training was sometimes used to satisfy the need to be seen as capable. CONCLUSION: Physical activity is experienced positively among adults with severe obesity, but many obstacles exist that influence their capacity and their will. Support is necessary in different ways, not only to initiate physical activity, but also to maintain it. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This article was published in Physiother Res Int
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy