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Table 2 Selected Quotes from Studies

From: A systematic review of qualitative studies exploring the factors influencing the physical activity levels of Arab migrants

Themes and sub-themes Supporting quotes Contributing studies
Culture and religion
 Differing gender roles “In our culture men usually do nothing at home. Women do the cooking and the cleaning, even if they work. If they want to do something they don’t have the chance.” (Caperchione et al., 2011, p.5).
“Women have more household obligations while men have more [free] time.” (Kahan 2011, p.122)
[29, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 40, 41, 43]
 Requirement for appropriate settings and activities “If we would like to go to the gym then we have to mention the person there, there is no men to go inside. That’s a bit of problem for us. You have to trust the people there, because it’s our religion. It’s very hard.” (Caperchione et al., 2011, p.5).
“We would like to go to places only for women where we can exercise and do sports. These facilities need to be located near where we live; otherwise, it is not possible for us to go there.” (Olaya-Contreras et al., 2019, p.6).
“I have told the teacher that it is ‘haram’, the men must stand first and we stand behind, and then it was all right” (Södergren et al., 2008, p.417).
[29, 30, 32,33,34,35, 37, 39,40,41, 43].
 Religion is influential towards physical activity “The five daily prayers act as exercise, it is written in the Quran as well” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.6).
“Religiously, if you are going to go to the beach to swim, will I be able to go to Bondi beach and swim where there is naked people? No, religiously, I won’t be allowed, even if my husband doesn’t stop me” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.6).
[29, 33, 34, 37, 39, 43]
Competing commitments and time “Usually it is housework, for example, tidying the house, cooking meals, washing the dishes in the kitchen. If I have clothes to wash, wash the clothes, hang them out, bring them in, all this [in addition to] caring for the children. For example, if my daughter has school to go to I would get up with them in the morning. Prepare breakfast for her and dress her and give her a lunch box to take with her to school. I would take care of her food and her needs that is other than my husband’s needs, of course. Sometimes I do not rest during the day. Sometimes its continuous activity, continuous activity until I am really tired.” (Razee et al., 2010, p.134). [29, 30, 32, 33, 35,36,37,38,39,40,41, 43, 44]
Social factors
 Importance of social support and belonging “Do you remember for how long we used to walk together every morning, at 6 o’clock in the morning I used to walk to her (other participant’s) house and...you don’t feel the time, yeah, you don’t feel the time” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.5).
“... I and my family hang out and get together with friends for the weekend plan including going to parks for barbeques before/after which we may play soccer, volleyball or even basketball... the weekly plan is to get together with friends for a fun” (Saleh et al., 2018, p.348).
“I like to exercise but it’s hard to find time when I have children; in my family, my children and my husband are not engaged in exercise and thus, I will be alone in my effort to exercise.” (Olaya-Contreras et al., 2019, p.5).
“... it’s always hard, like if you join the gym, it’s hard like the first time you walk in, everyone’s like not your friend, you don’t know anyone” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.5).
[29, 30, 32, 33, 35,36,37,38,39,40,41, 43, 44].
 Preference for group-based settings “I can’t do it [exercise] alone; alone is difficult. If it is within a group, it’s easier, together with the women.” (Romeike et al., 2010, p.10). [29, 30, 32, 37, 39,40,41, 43, 44]
 Respected figures “None of us can do anything sensible ourselves, we need to be organized and have someone to lead this organized group. .., the desire to take exercise will increase in that way.” (Södergren et al., 2008, p.417). [32, 40, 41, 43]
Health-related influences
 Existing health conditions as a barrier “I have problems in my cervix, so I feel restricted to the kind of exercise I can handle... I used to love to swim but I started to get cramps so now I panic when I am swimming.” (Caperchione et al., 2011, p.5).
“My back pain, my back pain, I walk and what do you call it, I can’t manage to do that.” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.5).
[29, 30, 35,36,37,38,39,40, 44]
 Preventing health issues as a motivator “I’m more prevention is better than a cure, I like to keep fit and healthy before something happens, I don’t wait for something to go wrong” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.5).
“The reason why I have been physically active is to lose weight; I do not want a stroke or diabetes; Many in my family suffer from diabetes, so, I do not want to suffer from it.” (Olaya-Contreras et al., 2019, p.5).
[29, 30, 33,34,35,36, 38, 39, 42]
Accessibility issues
 Costs “Oh! There is no nearby place to perform a regular physical activity, and to have a membership in such physical program as a gym is financially burdensome for me.” (Saleh et al., 2018, p.348).
“In my country, sports centers are costly. Here, my husband and I go to the Rec Center and do physical activities together.” (Tami et al., 2012, p. 195).
[29, 32, 37,38,39,40,41,42,43]
 Location “We would like to go to places only for women where we can exercise and do sports. These facilities need to be located near where we live; otherwise, it is not possible for us to go there.” (Olaya-Contreras et al., 2019, p.6). [29, 35, 38, 40, 43].
 Organised physical activity “None of us can do anything sensible ourselves, we need to be organized and have someone to lead this organized group. .., the desire to take exercise will increase in that way.” (Södergren et al., 2008, p.417). [29, 32, 33, 39, 40]
 Awareness of programs “...for us, as, like as mothers in that age, I don’t [think] there is a lot of things available for us...” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.5). [29, 30, 39, 43]
 Language barriers “Everyone speaking English makes it difficult at first. Sometimes they come up to you and tell you what to do but you don’t understand what they’re saying. It’s hard even if they show you.” (Taylor et al., 1998, p.7). [29, 32, 39, 41, 43]
Outdoor environment
 Safety concerns “You would find most of the Muslim ladies, they’ve got a scarf in the car. I’ve got one in the car because um there was a stage where they were just ripping them off, so everybody’s got an extra scarf in the car.” (El Masri et al., 2020, p.6). [29, 30, 39, 41, 43]
 Weather barriers “In Morocco, people are healthier than here, and they eat everything. The difference is there you have the sun, you’re busy the whole time and you burn fat. Here the weather is always bad, and we have little opportunity for movement.” (Nicolaou et al., 2012, p.888). [32, 34, 35, 39].
Migratory experience “When I went to Syria I lost eight kilos I walked a lot and [yet] didn’t do any exercise bike, and I ate a lot. ... Here you get into the car and you just drive in the car.” (Sulaiman et al., 2007, p.66).
“In Morocco you live differently, there the houses are bigger, just walking from room to room is sport. Here your room is 2 × 2.” (Nicolaou et al., 2012, p.887).
[29, 30, 33, 34, 39,40,41,42]