Health behaviors of minority populations, including Hispanics, are important from a public health perspective because this subpopulation is growing and health behaviors of this subgroup are understudied. Physical activity is a component of healthy lifestyles and Hispanics have been shown to be less active than are Caucasians. It will be necessary to know correlates of physical activity to enhance the physical activity of this group. Recently, the importance of environmental and cultural factors has been recognized as correlates of physical activity behavior. The purpose of this study was to identify environmental and cultural correlates of physical activity among Hispanic adults.
A 52-item telephone survey was employed to assess physical activity and its potential correlates.
The sample included 175 females and 156 males. Respondent ages ranged from 18 to 82 years (x = 38.39 ± 15.0). Approximately 20% of respondents were assigned to a “higher physical activity” group. Predictors of being in this group were having supportive environments, being acculturated, attending some college, and age.
Providing environmental supports may be an effective strategy to enhance physical activity levels of adult Hispanics. Older Hispanics, those with lower educational attainments and those of lower acculturation should be targeted for intervention.
Bungum is with the Dept of Health Promotion, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Thompson-Robinson and Moonie are with the Dept of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Lounsbery is with the Dept of Sports Education Leadership, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.