Online Program

Assessment of physical activity and health indicators in American-Indian high school students

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Melissa Wigginton, DrPH, CHES, Department of Public Health Sciences, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
M. Margaret Barth, PhD, MPH, Nutrition and Healthcare Management, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Trevor Gillum, PhD, Kinesiology, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
Charles D. Sands IV, PhD, MEd, Professor, College of Health Science, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
Introduction: American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) represent an at risk population for chronic diseases. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that cardiovascular disease among AI/AN exceeds that of other populations, and may be more fatal (Indian Health Service, 2004). The purpose of this research project was to assess baseline physical activity (PA) data, non-invasive general health indicators, as well as perceived barriers and attitudes towards PA among AI/AN high school students in order to develop a community-based, PA and healthy eating intervention program. Methods: Using an observational, descriptive design, researchers assessed the participants PA level using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). Participant's height, weight, waist circumference and blood pressure were measured. Participant's attitudes, perceived social influences and barriers related to PA were also assessed. Results: Participants reported moderate levels of PA (M=2.65). The average waist circumference was 93.23 centimeters, while the mean weight was 163.42 pounds. Significant independent predictors of participants exercise included exercising with friends (p<0.001), temperature (p<0.001), embarrassment (p<0.05) and overall improved mood (p<0.05). Conclusion: The results demonstrate that this population is at risk for chronic illness, thus a healthy eating and PA program is needed. The results further demonstrated significant predictors and barriers to PA which can be used to guide program development to ultimately increase PA levels within the population.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least four current health indicators among the AI/AN population. Identify at least three current barriers and predictors of exercise among AI/AN teenagers, a high risk, understudied population. Discuss the next steps in the development of a healthy eating and active living program designed to target AI/AN teenagers.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Native Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principle or co-principle researcher in the area of physical activity, specifically with adolescent/teenaged populations. I have researching this within this area for over seven years. I have previously presented and published within APHA and other international and national conferences and journals. In addition to research regarding physical activity, my other scientific interests include disease prevention, health disparities and health promotion.
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.