Tara Hacker, M.S.P.H.


Education: Bachelor of Science in nutrition and exercise science (May 2005)

Master of Science in Public Health in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina

McNair Project: Barriers to Moderate Physical Activity in Adult Hispanics with Arthritis (2003)

Mentor: Nancy Gyurcsik, Ph.D.

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.