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JFSF Vol 8, No 2, June 2023, p.94-106

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-08-094


Review Article

Women's perceptions or experiences of physical activity and exercise interventions to improve bone health: a systematic review

C. Ryanne Plesh, Rebecca A. Withers, Dawn A. Skelton

  • Research Centre for Health (ReaCH), Department of Physiotherapy and Paramedicine, School of Health & Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

Keywords: Bone health, Exercise, Experiences, Perceptions, Physical activity


Exercise is an important intervention to maintain bone health in women with osteopenia and osteoporosis. This systematic review aims to gain insight into the experiences or perceptions females have toward bone health interventions, to promote uptake and adherence. Four electronic databases were searched: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed and PsycInfo. Inclusion Criteria: Qualitative studies examining perceptions or views of women to physical activity or exercise interventions aimed at improving bone health. 1,406 papers were identified. After screening, data were extracted from 2 studies considering experiences and 2 papers presenting perceptions of exercise for bone health. All studies scored >8 out of 10 on the CASP Quality Tool. Older women perceived barriers such as safety and advice, and facilitators of tangible results and feedback within supervised group sessions. Older womens' experiences of a digitally delivered exercise intervention included social interactions and voice reminders, with barriers of lack of feedback and knowledge. Younger women expressed enablers as feeling the benefits and physical literacy, and barriers of previous experience participating in tedious exercise. Supervised sessions, with different intensity levels and variety, offering feedback to promote confidence, are valuable to uptake and adherence in both younger and older females.
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