Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Nick J. Siekirk


Sedentary lifestyles are a growing public health concern. Furthermore, many rural Americans lack adequate access to healthcare resources. When healthcare is sought, the patient-practitioner interactions may serve to influence the patient’s lifestyle choices. The practitioners' exercise and physical activity habits may shape the effectiveness of the patient-practitioners interaction. Here, we explored the potential barriers to exercise and physical activity (PA) in licensed physical and occupational therapists. In addition, we aimed to describe barriers to exercise and PA in individuals with a history of stroke from the perspective of the practitioner. Lastly, how current exercise and physical activity habits influence their patient interactions. The top reported barriers from practitioners were found to be a lack of time, energy, and motivation. The practitioner’s weekly physical activity habits were found to meet the ACSM recommendations (150 mins of moderate-intensity physical activity and 60 mins of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week) for vigorous-intensity physical activity (M= 88.57 mins, SD= 126.25 mins) but not moderate-intensity physical activity (M= 84.28 mins, SD=55.33 mins). The most prominent barriers seen in individuals with a history of stroke were found to be energy level, transportation concerns, and low self-efficacy. This survey enables us to gain a better understanding of what may further aid the adherence to exercise and physical activity by evaluating the most reported barriers. This study also serves to display the importance of the practitioner-patient interactions and influence during and after treatment.