Online Program

Physical activity profiles of overweight/obese women in rural southwest Georgia

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Regine Haardörfer, PhD, MEd, MS, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Iris Alcantara, MPH, Emory Prevention Research Center, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Dattatraya Patil, Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Julie Gazmararian, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Jim Hotz, MD, East Albany Medical Center, Albany, GA
Michelle Kegler, DrPH, Emory Prevention Research Center, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
This abstract is being submitted for consideration for inclusion in the Special Sessions on Rural Health Disparities.

Despite the significant health benefits of physical, many rural Americans spend little or no time exercising. More recently, health benefits of light activity and breaks in sedentary behavior have been investigated. However, we know little about light activity patterns. This study investigated the physical activity profiles of rural overweight/ obese women, focusing on light activity.

Healthy Homes/Healthy Families is a community-based participatory research intervention study to prevent weight gain in overweight/obese women in southwest Georgia. Participants, ages 35 to 65, were recruited from federally qualified health clinics (FQHCs). The sample (n=455) was mostly African American (83.5%) with a household income of $25,000 or less. The women were mostly obese (86.1%) with an average BMI of 38.5 (range 25.0-90.8). Baseline data collection included wearing an accelerometer for seven days.

Participants with valid data wore accelerometers for 13.6 hours per day on average. Most of the time was spent sedentary (10.8 hrs) or in light activity (2.8 hours). On average participants spent less than one minute per day in moderate physical activity and none engaged in vigorous activity. None of the participants met current guidelines for moderate/vigorous physical activity. Heavier participants were significantly more sedentary and employed participants were significantly less sedentary. Examining the light physical activity category by dividing it into four sub-categories of activity, data revealed that most of the activity (on average 160 out of 167 minutes per day) was in the lowest light activity sub-category, and thus only slightly above sedentary activity. Only BMI and employment status were significantly related to time spent in the lowest light activity sub-category. To investigate interruption in sedentary behavior, number of bouts of minimum length of at least 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 minutes was determined. Number of bouts of any length was significantly higher for those who were employed. Number of bouts of at least 5, 10, or 20 minutes was negatively correlated to BMI.

These findings contribute to understanding levels of physical activity and inactivity of rural overweight and obese women. These findings have implications for health care practitioners, policy makers, and researchers invested in health promotion among rural sedentary and overweight/obese patient populations. Practitioners in particular can use this knowledge to understand the significant challenge of increasing physical activity levels of their patients.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe light physical activity Discuss factors related to light activity in overweight and obese women recruited from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in rural southwest Georgia Discuss factors related to breaks in sedentary behavior of overweight and obese women recruited from FQHCs in rural southwest Georgia

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Rural Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a methodologist at Emory University since earning my PhD in Research, Measurement and Statistics in 2010. My expertise is in data analysis of behavioral data. Among my scientific interest has been the analysis of objective physical activity data collected with accelerometers.
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.