Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Maureen Jones, RN, PhD

Committee Member

Rachel Hogg-Graham, DrPH, MA

Committee Member

John Lyons, PhD


Physical activity is vital for human health. However, many adults in the United States and beyond do not reach the pre-determined recommended levels of activity needed for health benefits. Single-female caregivers present a unique and vulnerable population that is often more inactive than their partnered peers or single-male caregivers. The primary purpose of this cross-sectional investigation was to identify the prevalence of physical inactivity in single-family, female-led households and determine differences in personal factors and social determinants of health between single-female caregivers who indicated they were physically active compared to single-female caregivers who indicated they were not physically active. A secondary purpose was to examine the relationship among the social determinants of health variables and physical inactivity in single-female caregiver households and determine the odds the single-female caregivers who are physically inactive reported chronic health conditions. Lastly, explorations of these purposes in single-female caregiver households in Kentucky was performed. There was a 28.1% prevalence of physical inactivity. Single-female caregivers that were physically inactive had greater odds of having a history of many chronic health conditions compared to the single-female caregivers that were active. There was a significant relationship amongst education, income, BMI and physical activity. Women that had a higher education, lower BMI and higher income were more likely to be physically active. There were no differences in protective factors, such as access to a healthcare provider or insurance between the two groups of women. Healthcare providers and community health workers should explore existing physical activity promotion strategies to increase physical activity in single-female caregivers. Public health policies should be developed to ensure the resources needed to address the needs specific to these women.

Available for download on Friday, April 25, 2025