Asian / Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Corresponding Author

Siosaia F. Hafoka


A large body of existing literature suggests associations between perceptions of the environment and physical activity status, but very few studies have examined perceptions among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities. The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of the active living environment in Hawaiʻi in rural communities with a high proportion of NHPI. A total of thirteen adults were purposefully selected to participate in the study, and the Photovoice method was used to capture their perceptions. Three sessions were used to describe the purpose of the study, select and describe photographs, and identify emerging themes. A total of nine overarching themes were identified by participants and placed into three categories. Participants identified facilitators to being physically active, but also identified several barriers in their community such as the lack of available physical and built amenities, social norms, and safety. Participants proposed four action items to improve their active living environment: promote programs that are organized by community members, contact the local university to provide access to physical activity equipment, contact Honolulu City & County officials to voice concerns regarding barriers that prevent physical activity in the community, and working with employers in the community to create policies that promote physical activity at the workplace.