Health Is Power: Active Transportation, Physical Activity, and Cardiometabolic Health Among Ethnic Minority Women

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Active transportation (AT) increases physical activity, reducing cardiometabolic risk among non-Hispanic white adults; however, research on these linkages in racial/ethnic minority women is sparse. This study explored these associations in 327 African American and Hispanic/Latina women. Methods: This analysis used sociodemographics, self-reported AT via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, accelerometer-measured moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, resting heart rate, and body fat percentage (BF). Unadjusted bivariate associations and associations adjusted for sociodemographic factors were examined. Results: AT users had higher levels of objective MVPA, but this was not statistically significant. AT was not associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in adjusted models (Ps > .05); however, systolic blood pressure was lower for AT users. MVPA was negatively associated with diastolic blood pressure and BF overall, body mass index and BF in African American women, and BF in Hispanic/Latina women (Ps <.05). Conclusions: MVPA was associated with improvements in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, and BF among minority women, and these relationships may vary by race/ethnicity. Practitioners should recommend increased participation in MVPA. Future research, using longitudinal designs should investigate AT’s potential for increasing MVPA and improving cardiometabolic health along with the role of race/ethnicity in these associations.

Lorenzo and Lee are with the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA. Szeszulski is with the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, Michael Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA. Todd is with the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA. Mama is with the Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Lorenzo (ealayne@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.
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