Original article| Volume 24, ISSUE 3, e353-e361, May 2014

Self-Reported Physical Activity Patterns Among Low-Income Latina Women in Arizona



      Adherence to recommendations for physical activity (PA) among adults in the United States is reported as poor, particularly among low-income Latinos. In particular, Latina women are at increased risk for inactivity and chronic illness, but national health survey reports aggregate data across demographic strata, limiting descriptive information that could guide targeted PA promotion. The purpose of the study was to determine PA patterns among a low-income group of Latina women in the southwestern United States.


      As part of a large community intervention trial to increase cancer prevention behaviors, PA data were collected from 1,006 Latina women using a modified version of the Arizona Activity Frequency Questionnaire.


      The weekly PA mean across all exercise types was calculated to be 9.3 ± 16.4 hours, which is substantially higher than the daily PA recommendation of 30 minutes most days of the week. The highest daily PA means were associated with occupational activities: Cleaning, 2.7 hours; walking, 2.5 hours; lifting, 1.9 hours; and light yard work, 1.0 hours.


      In this sample of low-income Latina women, the average PA hours per week exceed the current PA recommendations. Data collection instruments used in this population could more accurately assess PA if they included a wider range of activities and specific questions about work-related activity.
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      Lisa L. Smith is a 4th year doctoral student in the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness program and faculty instructor at Arizona State University. Lisa's research interests are exploring mindfulness and meditative movement as avenues for promoting positive health outcomes.


      Linda K. Larkey is a Professor in Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Her primary research interests are testing theory-based methods of communicating health messages to underserved/low-income populations, especially Latinos and examining mind-body methods of alleviating persistent symptoms, such as fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, in cancer survivors.


      Barbara E. Ainsworth is a Regent's Professor in Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions. She is a world-renowned expert of physical activity measurement and is a former President of the American College of Sports Medicine and the lead author of the Compendium of Physical Activities.


      Julie Bucho-Gonzalez is a senior project manager at Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation.


      Kathylynn Saboda is a research specialist with the University of Arizona Cancer Center.


      Denise Roe is a Professor in University of Arizona's School of Public Health. Her statistical research interests include developing and evaluating statistical methods useful in clinical trials, prevention studies, pharmacokinetics, and longitudinal studies. She has served as the President-Elect, President, and Past-President of the Western North American Region of the International Biometric Society and as a Member of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies.