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Rebecca E. Lee, Scherezade K. Mama, Kristen P. McAlexander, Heather Adamus and Ashley V. Medina


In the US, public housing developments are typically located in lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods that may have poorer quality street level conditions, placing residents in neighborhoods that are less supportive for physical activity (PA). This study investigated the relationship of detailed, objectively assessed street-level pedestrian features with self-reported and measured PA in African American public housing residents.


Every street segment (N = 2093) within an 800 m radius surrounding each housing development (N = 12) was systematically assessed using the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan (PEDS). Participants completed an interviewer administered International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) Short Form and wore a pedometer for 1 week.


Women reported significantly less vigorous (mean = 1955 vs. 2896 METs), moderate (mean = 733 vs. 1309 mets), walking (mean = 1080 vs. 1376 METs), and total (mean = 3768 vs. 5581 METs) PA on the IPAQ compared with men (all P <.05). Women took fewer pedometer steps per day (M = 3753 vs. 4589) compared with men, but this was not statistically significant. Regression analyses showed that for women, lower speed limits were associated with vigorous; higher street segment density was associated with more moderate PA; lower speed limits, fewer crossing aids, and more lanes were associated with more walking; and, fewer lanes was associated with more overall PA. For men, fewer sidewalk connections were associated with more moderate PA; lower speed limits were associated with more walking; and, lower speed limits was associated with more overall PA.


Neighborhood factors influence physical activity; in particular, lower speed limits appear most commonly linked with increased physical activity in both men and women.

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Shirley M. Bluethmann, Wayne Foo, Renate M. Winkels, Scherezade K. Mama and Kathryn H. Schmitz

Purpose: (a) To describe the relationship of multimorbidity and physical activity (PA) in cancer survivors and (b) to explore perceived disability and PA in middle-aged and older survivors. Methods: The authors analyzed the data from cancer survivors (N = 566), identified using the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry, who responded to a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System-derived questionnaire. They created age groups (e.g., 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and older) and calculated a composite score of eight common comorbidities (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease) to assess multimorbidity. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association of demographic and behavioral/clinical risk factors (e.g., multimorbidity, perceived disability, body mass index) with PA. Results: Most respondents were females (62%), older (mean age = 68 years) and represented diverse cancer sites, including breast (n = 132), colorectal (n = 102), gynecologic (n = 106), prostate (n = 111), and lung (n = 80). PA participation was mixed; 44% of survivors reported achieving >150 min of aerobic PA, but half of lung and 37% of gynecologic survivors reported no PA (0 min/week). Higher multimorbidity (odds ratio = 0.82, confidence  interval [0.69, 0.98], p < .05), obesity (odds ratio = 0.51, confidence  interval [0.30, 0.86], p < .05), and perceived disability (odds ratio = 0.49, confidence  interval [0.32, 0.77], p < .001) were negatively associated with PA participation. Strength training was suboptimal across all survivors. Conclusion: Most older survivors experienced comorbid conditions, and this was associated with less PA. Survivors who perceived themselves as disabled or who were obese were half as likely as others to participate in PA. This suggests an increasing need to address both physical and psychological limitations in designing PA interventions for real-world needs. Exercise interventions that address the unique needs of older survivors for multimorbidity, obesity, and perceived disability may strengthen opportunities for PA.

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Scherezade K. Mama, Lorna H. McNeill, Erica G. Soltero, Raul Orlando Edwards and Rebecca E. Lee

Culturally appropriate, innovative strategies to increase physical activity (PA) in women of color are needed. This study examined whether participation in SALSA, an 8-week randomized, crossover pilot study to promote PA, led to improved psychosocial outcomes and whether these changes were associated with changes in PA over time. Women of color (N = 50) completed Internet-based questionnaires on PA, exercise self-efficacy, motivational readiness, stress, and social support at three time points. Women reported high socioeconomic status, decreases in exercise self-efficacy, and increases in motivational readiness for exercise and a number of stressful events (p < .05); changes in motivational readiness for exercise varied by group (p = .043). Changes in psychosocial factors were associated with increases in PA. Latin dance improved motivational readiness for PA. Future studies are needed to determine whether Latin dance improves other psychological measures and quality of life in women of color in an effort to increase PA and reduce health disparities.

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Elizabeth Lorenzo, Jacob Szeszulski, Michael Todd, Scherezade K. Mama and Rebecca E. Lee

Background: Active transportation (AT) increases physical activity, reducing cardiometabolic risk among non-Hispanic white adults; however, research on these linkages in racial/ethnic minority women is sparse. This study explored these associations in 327 African American and Hispanic/Latina women. Methods: This analysis used sociodemographics, self-reported AT via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, accelerometer-measured moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, resting heart rate, and body fat percentage (BF). Unadjusted bivariate associations and associations adjusted for sociodemographic factors were examined. Results: AT users had higher levels of objective MVPA, but this was not statistically significant. AT was not associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in adjusted models (Ps > .05); however, systolic blood pressure was lower for AT users. MVPA was negatively associated with diastolic blood pressure and BF overall, body mass index and BF in African American women, and BF in Hispanic/Latina women (Ps <.05). Conclusions: MVPA was associated with improvements in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, and BF among minority women, and these relationships may vary by race/ethnicity. Practitioners should recommend increased participation in MVPA. Future research, using longitudinal designs should investigate AT’s potential for increasing MVPA and improving cardiometabolic health along with the role of race/ethnicity in these associations.