263368 Physical Activity Participation among African American Students: Understanding the role of Beliefs and Attitudes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dauda Fadeyi Jr., MPH , Epidemiology and Surveillance Office, Southwest Public Health District 8-2, Albany, GA
Ivette A. López, PhD, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Background: Physical inactivity is one of the most significant health challenges in the US today, as it leads to adverse health outcomes such as: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression, early mortality, etc. The CDC recommends that adults engage in at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (PA), five days a week. Roughly 39% of African Americans do not meet the recommended level of physical activity, and 25% are completely sedentary. Purpose: To identify the negative and positive perceptions of African American college students in association with reported PA levels. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) guided this exploratory study, namely: behavioral intent, attitudes, normative and behavior control beliefs related to PA. Methods: Utilized a cross-sectional, 30-item questionnaire, analyzed with SPSS. Study participants (N=140) were recruited from several sites in the Florida A&M University Campus, a historically Black university (HBCU). Results: 77.9% of the study population did not meet the recommended level of PA, although activity levels did not differ significantly between genders. Positive attitudes, supportive normative beliefs, and positive perceived behavioral control were all associated with PA intent level, as were age and classification. Most participants were unaware of PA recommendations. Conclusions: For this sample of African Americans, the critical period of time where college students' PA levels drop was identified. Findings regarding role models, campus v. non-campus residence, classification, and types of preferred activity can shape much needed culturally competent interventions, messages and research that focus on African American college students.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the age and classification where African American college student physical activity drops. 2. List and explain the attitudes and beliefs significantly associated with higher level of physical activity participation among African American college students. 3. Name physical activity role models of African American college. students, and preferred physical activity types.

Keywords: College Students, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research under the close supervision and training of Dr. Ivette A. López at the FAMU Institute of Public Health, for my MPH degree. I interned through the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) and at the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association (PCIA) in Southwest Atlanta GA. I also participated in a rotation at the Florida Department of Health (DOH). I am currently a Public Health Associate for Epidemiology and Surveillance at CDC
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.