178299 Objectively assessed physical activity among Tongans living in the US: A preliminary investigation

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Timothy K. Behrens, PhD , Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO
Daniel P. Williams, PhD , Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Elizabeth A. Fallon, PhD , Kinesiology, Community Health Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Vanessa J. Harbour, MPH, PhD , Department of Health Promotion & Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Fahina Pasi, BS , National Tongan American Society, Salt Lake City, UT
Ivoni Nash, BS , National Tongan American Society, Salt Lake City, UT
INTRODUCTION: Despite high rates of obesity among Tongans in the United States, no studies to date have objectively examined physical activity (PA) within this population. Thus, the purpose of this study was to objectively describe the PA patterns of a sample of Tongans living in the US. METHODS: Participants in this cross-sectional descriptive study were adult Tongans living in Utah (N = 38) who agreed to wear an accelerometer for seven consecutive days. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables of interest. T-tests and chi-squares were calculated to examine PA by demographic variables. RESULTS: Almost 80% of participants (age = 41.2 15.7 years; BMI = 36.1 8.1 kg/m2) were not meeting PA recommendations, accumulating only 20.6 19.05 minutes/day of moderate to vigorous activity. The probability of meeting PA guidelines was not influenced by income, education, language spoken at home or work, or age. However, males (N = 13; age = 40.0 15.1 years; BMI = 38.2 10.5 kg/m2) were more likely to meet PA guidelines (χ2 = 7.5, p < 0.01) than females (N = 25; age = 41.8 16.3 years; BMI = 35.0 6.5 kg/m2). CONCLUSION: Compared to nationally representative accelerometer data, Tongans in this study were substantially less active than Caucasians, African Americans, and Mexican Americans. Because this is the first study to objectively assess PA among Tongans living in the US, more research is needed to describe and understand PA behavior in this population.

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the differences between physical activity assessment methods. 2. To evaluate physical activity participation among different ethnic groups. 3. To investigate the effect of demographic variables on physical activity participation among Tongans living in the US.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am trained in the field of physical activity and public health, and I am the PI on this investigation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.