Physical Activity Intervention Effects on Sedentary Time in Spanish-Speaking Latinas

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Latinas have high rates of sedentary behavior and related health disparities, but it is unknown if interventions to increase physical activity will also reduce sedentary time. The current study examined changes in objectively measured sedentary time among Latinas in a randomized controlled trial of a physical activity intervention. Methods: Spanish-speaking Latinas (N = 202) were randomized to an exercise or wellness group and wore an accelerometer at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Results: Participants were sedentary on an average of 8.86 hours per day (SD = 2.60) at baseline. The intervention group had significantly greater increases in sedentary time compared with the control group, with the intervention group engaging in 146 more minutes per week of sedentary time at 6 months and 254 minutes per week of sedentary time at 12 months than the control group (P = .02). The intervention effect on sedentary behavior remained after controlling for moderate to vigorous physical activity. Additionally, time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity was positively associated with more sedentary time (P = .04). Conclusion: An intervention to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity resulted in greater sedentary time, raising concerns regarding compensation and highlighting the need for interventions to address both physical activity and sedentary behavior to improve public health.

Hartman is with the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Pekmezi is with the Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA. Dunsiger is with the Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, USA; and the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Marcus is with the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.

Hartman (sjhartman@ucsd.edu) is corresponding author.
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