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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.