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Lucas J. Carr, Shira Dunsinger and Bess H. Marcus

Background:

Long-term physical activity surveillance has not been conducted among Latinas. This study explored the variability of daily physical activity habits of inactive adult Latinas participating in a 12-month physical activity intervention.

Methods:

We collected objective physical activity data (pedometer) from 139 Spanish speaking Latinas (age = 41.6 ± 10.1 years; BMI = 29.6 ± 4.3 kg/m2) enrolled in a 12-month physical activity intervention. Total and aerobic steps (>100 steps/minute) were computed by year, season, month, day of week, time of day, and hour.

Results:

Participants walked an average of 6509 steps/day of which 1303 (20%) were aerobic steps. Significant physical activity differences were observed for subgroups including generational status, education, employment, income, marital status and health literacy. Significant and similar differences were observed for both total steps and aerobic steps for day of the week (weekdays > weekends) and season (summer > spring > fall > winter). Opposing trends were observed over the course of the day for total steps (early afternoon > late morning > late afternoon > early morning > evening) and aerobic steps (early morning > evening > late morning > late afternoon > early afternoon).

Conclusions:

Both seasonality and week day predicted physical activity habits of Latinas. This is the first long-term study to track daily physical activity habits of Latinas. These data have potential to inform the design of future physical activity interventions targeting Latinas.

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Bernardine M. Pinto, Bess H. Marcus, Robert B. Patterson, Mary Roberts, Andrea Colucci and Christina Braun

Exercise has been shown to improve walking ability in individuals with arterial claudication. This study compared the effects of an on-site supervised exercise program and a home exercise program on quality of life and psychological outcomes in these individuals. Sixty individuals were randomly assigned to a 12-week on-site or a 12-week home-based exercise program. Quality of life, mood and pain symptoms, and walking ability were examined at baseline, posttreatment, and at 6 months follow-up. Individuals in the on-site exercise program showed significantly greater improvements in walking ability. Although sample size limited the ability to detect significant differences between groups on quality of life and psychological measures, both groups were comparable on improvements in quality of life and in mood. These data suggest that a home exercise program with weekly feedback may provide improved quality of life and mood benefits for individuals with arterial claudication but does not provide improvements in walking equivalent to those provided by an on-site exercise program.

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Lisa Chasan-Taber, Marushka Silveira, Bess H. Marcus, Barry Braun, Edward Stanek and Glenn Markenson

Background:

Physical activity during pregnancy is associated with reduced risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. However, the majority of pregnant women are inactive and interventions designed to increase exercise during pregnancy are sparse. We evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an exercise intervention among a diverse sample of pregnant women.

Methods:

The B.A.B.Y. (Behaviors Affecting Baby and You) Study is conducted at a large tertiary care facility in Western Massachusetts. We randomized 110 prenatal care patients (60% Hispanic) to an individually tailored 12-week exercise intervention arm (n = 58) or to a health and wellness control arm (n = 52) at mean = 11.9 weeks gestation. Physical activity was assessed via the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ).

Results:

After the 12-week intervention, the exercise arm experienced a smaller decrease (−1.0 MET-hrs/wk) in total activity vs. the control arm (−10.0 MET-hrs/wk; P = .03), and a higher increase in sports/exercise (0.9 MET-hrs/wk) vs. the control arm (−0.01 MET-hrs/wk; P = .02). Intervention participants (95%) reported being satisfied with the amount of information received and 86% reported finding the study materials interesting and useful.

Conclusions:

Findings support the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a tailored exercise intervention in increasing exercise in a diverse sample of pregnant women.

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Beth A. Lewis, LeighAnn H. Forsyth, Bernardine M. Pinto, Beth C. Bock, Mary Roberts and Bess H. Marcus

Behavioral science theories have been used to develop physical activity interventions; however, little is known as to whether these interventions are effective due to changes in constructs related to these theories. Specifically, if the intervention is successful, does it work for the reasons hypothesized by the theory underlying it? The purpose of this study was to examine the importance of particular theoretical constructs among participants (n = 150) who had been randomly assigned to a physical activity intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model and Social Cognitive Theory (i.e., tailored group) or to a standard care group. Participants in the tailored group reported greater increases in behavioral processes and self-efficacy from baseline to 3 months than participants in the standard-care group. No between-group differences were found for cognitive processes and decisional balance. This study demonstrates that theory-based physical activity interventions may be effective through changes in particular theoretical constructs.

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David M. Williams, George D. Papandonatos, Melissa A. Napolitano, Beth A. Lewis, Jessica A. Whiteley and Bess H. Marcus

Given the decreased rate of morbidity and mortality associated with physical activity, understanding the factors that enhance the efficacy of physical activity interventions is a priority. The present study examined the moderating effect of baseline enjoyment of physical activity on the efficacy of a physical activity intervention. Participants were 238 healthy low-active adults enrolled in Project STRIDE, a randomized, controlled, clinical trial comparing individually tailored print and telephone interventions to a contact control. Results indicated a significant interaction between intervention assignment (telephone or print intervention vs. contact control) and baseline enjoyment on physical activity at 6 months, as measured by the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall (z = 2.44, p < .05). These results indicate that our motivationally tailored physical activity promotion program may be more effective among individuals reporting greater enjoyment of physical activity at baseline, and suggest that attention be paid to designing programs that can be effective for participants who report lower levels of physical activity enjoyment.