Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Health, Sport and Exercise Science (PhD)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Merry Moiseichik


A significant proportion of Saudi women are currently living in different Western countries, including the United States of America. Physical activity and sports participation play a significant role in maintaining health and well-being for all individuals. Understanding their physical activity experiences and perceptions regarding participation in sports activity during their stay in the United States is important. This study aimed to understand if the length of residence in the United States and/or acculturation to the U.S. environment could significantly change Saudi women's patterns, attitudes, and behaviors towards sports and fitness activities. This qualitative study was carried out to explore and describe their physical activity and sports participation during their transition time in the U.S. A sample of 13 Saudi women (ages between 22 to 51 years old) living in the United States agreed to participate in the study. The study was sampled from different cities in the United States to reduce research bias. All the participants had lived in the United States for at least 3 years. The participants shared their experiences and the meaning of those experiences through in-depth, semi-structured interviews that varied from 45 to 60 minutes depending on the participant’s willingness and time. All of the participants signed an informed consent letter to be tape-recorded with their permission. Results indicated that factors such as the sociocultural and environmental factors of the U.S. during their stay in the United States have shaped their perception of and behavior regarding physical activity; thus, they were more likely to report a significant increase in value on physical activity due to cultural influence. Recommendations for future research were also suggested in this study.