National data show that Hispanics report low levels of physical activity. Limited information on barriers to exercise in this population exists in the literature.
Surveys were administered to 398 Hispanic participants from two colonias in South Texas to investigate self-reported levels of and perceived barriers to exercise. One-way ANOVA by level of activity and t tests by gender were conducted. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine patterns by level of activity.
Results show that 67.6% of respondents did not meet physical activity recommendations of at least 150 minutes per week, as compared with 55.6% nationally. Overall, the most frequently reported barriers included “lack of time,” “very tired,” and “lack of self-discipline” to exercise. An exploratory factor analysis of the barriers reported by participants not meeting physical activity recommendations resulted in a 3-factor structure. A unidimensional scale was found for participants meeting recommendations.
Findings suggest that future interventions should be specific to gender and exercise level to address the high prevalence of inactivity in this population.
Bautista, Reininger, Gay, and Barroso are with the Dept of Behavioral Science, University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus. McCormick is with the Dept of Epidemiology, University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus.