The study purpose was to determine, among indigent arthritis patients, physical activity barriers, program preference frequencies, and demographic associations. A structured interview of 223 indigent, internal medicine clinic patients with self-reported arthritis was administered in a cross-sectional study design. The two most frequently reported barriers included bad health (52%) and pain (51%). The majority preferred to exercise alone (54%), close to home (76%), and in the early morning/ evening (83%). The preferred method of receiving exercise information was by video- or audiotape. Frequency of reported barriers was significantly associated with age, ethnicity, and gender; specific program preferences were significantly associated with age and gender only. Exercise programs for indigent patients with arthritis should be home-based with flexible scheduling. Educational material should include both video- and audiotape formats. Future interventions should consider barriers related to poor health and pain while remaining responsive to age, gender, and ethnic differences. Nurses can play a pivotal role in such interventions.