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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3310.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 3:06 PM

Abstract #110811

Influences on Physical Activity Behaviors among Latinas in Lee County, Florida: An Ecological Perspective

Ivette A. López, PhD, MPH, Self employed, 11079 Lakeland Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33913, 239-768-0726, ivelopez1@aol.com

Objective: Physical activity rates are low among U.S. Latinas, heralding future chronic health burdens. This study explores influences that promote or impede physical activity in Latina populations between 24 to 54 years old of Southwest Florida. Intrapersonal, social environmental, and physical environmental determinants were targeted in particular, guided by the Ecological Model of Influences on Physical Activity. The dependent variable of this study was Total Physical Activity (TPA), a combination of occupational and leisure-time activity. Finally, this study examined the influence of acculturation on TPA levels.

Methods: Mixed methods were used. In-depth interviews comprised the qualitative phase (Phase 1, n=41) and interviewer-administered surveys were employed in the quantitative phase (Phase 2, n=358). Qualitative results informed the development of the Phase 2 survey, and helped clarify all findings.

Results: Eight intrapersonal and physical environment factors were found to influence TPA behaviors (R2 = .196). Women who worked outside the home, had positive attitudes about activity, perceived access to activity facilities, and perceived safety of neighborhood were most likely to engage in TPA. Conversely, women who had higher education and those who heard activity messages on the radio were less likely to engage in TPA. Acculturation was not statistically associated to TPA levels. Though prominent in Phase 1, social environmental determinants were not statistically associated to TPA levels in Phase 2.

Conclusions: Intrapersonal and environmental factors impact TPA levels among Latinas. This understanding is important for program planners aiming to promote physical activity.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Latinas, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Health Education Challenges in the Hispanic Community

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA