Walking for Transportation Among Latino Adults in San Diego County: Who Meets Physical Activity Guidelines?

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access


U.S. Latinos engage in nonleisure-time walking (NLTW) more than other ethno-racial groups. Studies are needed to explore factors associated with NLTW to inform interventions for effective physical activity promotion.


To examine the social-ecological correlates of NLTW among Mexican-origin Latinos.


Individual, social, and environmental level factors and PA were assessed in a telephone survey completed by 672 Mexican-origin adults randomly sampled in San Diego County. Data were collected in 2006 and analyzed in 2009.


Participants were mostly female (71%), with an average age of 39 years. Less than one-third met PA guidelines for NLTW (29%). Structural equation modeling showed that NLTW was positively associated with being female, but negatively associated with living in the U.S. ≥ 12 years, and being U.S.-born.


In this sample NLTW differed by various indicators of acculturation and gender. These findings might help inform the development of interventions to promote NLTW and thus physical activity in Mexican-origin adults.

Martinez is with the Dept of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego. Arredondo, Ayala, and Elder are with the Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Roesch is with the Dept of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Patrick is with the Dept of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego.