Online Program

Effect of zumba: The psychosocial implications of a culturally tailored physical activity on Latina women's self-esteem

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vanessa Alcantar, MPH, Valley Health Plan, San Jose, CA
Daniel P. Perales, DrPh MPH, Department of Health Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Numerous studies have shown that physical activity can affect self-esteem and improve health outcomes. This study was designed to determine if Zumba, a psychosocial culturally tailored aerobic dancing activity, improves Latina women's self-esteem.

Methods: A pre-experimental, pretest-posttest design was used to evaluate the impact of Zumba on participants' self-esteem. A purposive sample of 43 Spanish-speaking Latinas residing in Santa Clara County California (mean age = 36) who reported low self-esteem and/or self-image, and/or reported a sedentary lifestyle or engaged in less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week were recruited. Participants attended 60 minute Zumba sessions for 16 weeks at a CBO location. The 1965 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES) was used to evaluate self-esteem before and after the 16 week Zumba intervention.

Results: The Rosenberg SES showed a statistically significant (p < .001) increase in participants' mean self-esteem score from pre-test to post-test at 16 weeks. The majority of women (93%) attended more than the 16 minimum required Zumba sessions. When participants were asked ”Why Zumba keeps them engaged in physical activity?”, six self-esteem related themes emerged 1) Weight loss and physical appearance, 2) effect on overall health, 3) Cultural relevance, 4) Improved dance skills, 5) Convenient location, and 6) Autonomy.

Conclusion: Results from this psychosocial study indicate that availability of a culturally tailored community-based physical activity intervention for low-income Latinas can significantly increase self-esteem. However, sustaining participants' engagement in routine physical activity will require ongoing support from service providers and environmental reinforcement (i.e. health campaigns, etc).

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the relationship between physical activity and self-esteem. Describe the six themes related to self-esteem that emerged from the study’s content analysis.

Keyword(s): Self-sufficiency and Empowerment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This abstract is based on a research project that I conducted as part of the requirement for my MPH degree.
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.