The Association of Physical Activity and Work-Related Characteristics Among Latino Adults

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Guadalupe X. Ayala
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Amy Gammelgard
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James F. Sallis
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John. P. Elder
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Background:

Studies have examined the association between work-related characteristics and physical activity participation; however few studies include U.S. Latinos.

Methods:

Six hundred and seventy two Latino adults of San Diego County were randomly sampled and surveyed to assess their health behaviors in the fall of 2006. Analyses were conducted with 633 respondents with physical activity data (94% of sample), examining the extent to which job category and hours worked per week were associated with 4 domains of physical activity defined by MET-minutes per week using the long IPAQ.

Results:

Multivariate analysis of variance models were computed. After adjusting for covariates, occupational MET-minutes per week were associated with job category and hours worked per week, such that blue collar workers expended more MET-minutes per week than white collar or nonworkers, and those who worked 20 hours a week or less expended less occupational physical activity compared with those who worked more than 20 hours per week. In addition, nonworkers reported expending more household MET-minutes per week than blue collar or white collar workers.

Conclusions:

Efforts are needed to increase the physical activity levels of Mexican immigrants/Mexican-Americans, with interventions designed in consideration of the individual’s work status.

Ayala, Gammelgard, and Elder are with the Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Sallis is with the Dept of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.

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