Tara Hacker

Graduation Date: May, 2005

Degree: Nutrition and Exercise Science

Faculty Mentor: Nancy Gyurcsik, Ph.D.

McNair Research: "Barriers to Moderate Physical Activity in Adult Hispanics with Arthritis"

Post-Baccalaureate Degrees: MS in Health Policy and Administration from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC (2007)


Regular physical activity is one recommended strategy to self-manage negative health impacts of arthritis. This study examined barriers to regular moderate physical activity in adult Hispanic women with arthritis. Participants were 14 Hispanic women with arthritis who were not moderately active regularly. Subjects participated in one of two focus groups. Qualitative analyses of the data revealed that participants identified a number of intrapersonal (e.g., pain from arthritis), interpersonal (e.g., family responsibilities), institutional (e.g., cost of exercise facilities), community (e.g., safety), public policy (e.g., lack of city council attention to physical environmental barriers), and physical environmental (e.g., poor sidewalks) barriers to engaging in moderate physical activity. From a public health perspective, findings may have implications in the design of physical activity interventions needed to make a larger impact on the health of Hispanic women with arthritis by taking a multi-pronged approach to alleviate a breadth of barriers.

Current Situation: Serving in the Peace Corps, Honduras