Evidence-Informed Practical Recommendations for Increasing Physical Activity Among Persons Living With HIV

Jessica L. Montoya; Catherine M. Jankowski; Kelly K. O'Brien; Allison R. Webel; Krisann K. Oursler; Brook L. Henry; David J. Moore; Kristine M. Erlandsong


AIDS. 2019;33(6):931-939. 

In This Article

Environmental Barriers

Environmental barriers to physical activity may be more pronounced among PLWH, such as concern about physical safety.[66] Although fitness centres may be ideal venues for engaging in physical activity, access may be limited by physical and financial accessibility,[67,68] and/or concerns regarding potential stigma related to body image.[54] Thus, when developing a physical activity plan, environmental barriers may need to be considered and solutions for overcoming these barriers may need to be identified (e.g. encouraging outdoor activity, access to indoor facilities such as a shopping mall or short bouts of physical activity throughout the day that do not require gym access or equipment).

Collectively, this body of literature on barriers to physical activity among PLWH indicates an interplay of intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental factors. Considering potential barriers to physical activity and plausible solutions are essential components of a physical activity action plan for PLWH. PLWH may benefit from an individualized approach to promoting physical activity, such as a gradual increase in activity, a different type of physical activity or physical activity environment, additional social support and/or a physical activity prescription that is tailored to the goals, abilities and interests of the individual in order to restore and achieve levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and physical function similar to HIV-uninfected peers.