Why don't women engage in muscle strength exercise? An integrative review

Article


Stimson, A. M., Anderson, C., Holt, A.-M. and Henderson, A. J.. 2024. "Why don't women engage in muscle strength exercise? An integrative review." Health Promotion Journal of Australia. https://doi.org/10.1002/hpja.857
Article Title

Why don't women engage in muscle strength exercise? An integrative review

ERA Journal ID13561
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsStimson, A. M., Anderson, C., Holt, A.-M. and Henderson, A. J.
Journal TitleHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Number of Pages13
Year2024
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1036-1073
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/hpja.857
Web Address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hpja.857
Abstract

Issue Addressed
Women are ‘at-risk’ population for failing to meet muscle strengthening guidelines. Health benefits specific to this exercise mode include maintenance of muscle mass, which is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease and falls. Of significance is the progressive decline in muscle strength exercise participation in women aged 35–54 in Australia. This period is critical for maintaining muscle strength as it establishes foundations for older women's engagement. This integrative review examined available evidence regarding factors influencing muscle strength exercise participation, specifically in women aged 35–54.

Methods
Seven databases were searched. Study inclusion criteria were: (1) peer reviewed, (2) English language, (3) sample populations of healthy female adults or general adult sample population differentiating females from males, (4) mean age between 35 and 54 years, (5) focused on muscle strength exercise and measured as the primary outcome factors of participation in muscle strength exercise.

Findings
Five of 1895 studies met inclusion criteria. Five key factors were associated with participation in muscle strength exercise of women aged 35–54 years: perceived time constraints; knowledge and education; modality and intensity; social support and behavioural strategies.

Conclusions
Focused education on strength exercise and guidelines, plus initiatives and strategies that suit the needs of this cohort, are necessary to achieve health and wellbeing benefits. Responsive approaches by health professionals to these women's circumstances can potentially address current low participation levels.

So What?
Creating conditions where health professionals respect a woman's exercise preferences can positively impact these women's musculoskeletal health into older age.

Keywordsfactors, female, middle-aged, muscle strength exercise, participation
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020429999. Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
420599. Nursing not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsCentral Queensland University
School of Nursing and Midwifery
University of Notre Dame Australia
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