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Megan Kelly Cronan, Kimberly J. Shinew, Ingrid Schneider, Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis and Deborah Chavez

Background:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data suggest that Latinos are less likely to be physically active and more likely to be overweight and suffer from resulting complications than are Whites and that within the Latino population, Latina women are especially at risk. Therefore, promoting physical activity among Latinos, and understanding gender participation patterns within that population, is particularly important. One strategy for encouraging physical activity is to promote active uses of public parks.

Methods:

A national, multiyear, multisite study funded by the USDA Forest Service sought to understand use of public parks by Latinos and Latinas in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

Results:

More than 50% of our sample visited parks to engage in physical activity, and in part, activity choice was related to gender. Furthermore, nearly half of all respondents walked to city park sites, whereas few or none walked to state or regional park sites.

Conclusions:

Our data suggest that Latinos are using some parks repeatedly and, in the case of city parks, are using them for physical as well as social activity. Therefore, we suggest specific ways that parks could be managed to encourage more physical activity while taking into account gender variations.

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Elizabeth E. Dawson-Hahn, Megan D. Fesinmeyer and Jason A. Mendoza

Background:

Physical activity is associated with long-term benefits for health and tracks from early childhood into later adolescence. Limited information exists about factors influencing physical activity among Latino preschoolers. We aimed to identify correlates of objectively measured light-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity as a proportion of wear time (% PA) in Latino 3–5 year olds.

Methods:

Latino preschoolers (n = 96) were recruited from Head Start centers in Houston, TX, USA, from 2009 to 2010. Sociodemographics, anthropometrics, acculturation, neighborhood disorder, and TV viewing were measured. Actigraph GT1M accelerometers measured physical activity. Block linear regression was used with % PA as the dependent variable.

Results:

Children achieved 285.7 ± 58.0 min/day of PA. In the final adjusted-model, child age, parental education and neighborhood disorder were positively associated with % PA (beta = 0.33, p = .002; beta = 0.25, p = .038; beta = 0.22, p = .039, respectively). TV viewing was inversely associated with % PA (beta=-0.23, p = .027).

Conclusion:

The majority of Latino preschoolers in our study exceeded US national and international guidelines of physical activity duration. Future interventions to sustain physical activity should focus on the influence of age, socioeconomic status, neighborhood disorder, and TV viewing on Latino preschoolers’ attainment of physical activity.

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Cynthia K. Perry, Brian E. Saelens and Beti Thompson

This study aimed to identify intrapersonal, behavioral, and environmental factors associated with engaging in recommended levels of physical activity among rural Latino middle school youth. Data were from an anonymous survey of 773 Latino youth (51% female) about level of and barriers and motivators to physical activity, risk behaviors, and park use. Logistic regression models identified factors correlated with meeting recommended levels of physical activity (5 days or more 360 min/day). Thirty-four percent of girls and 41% of boys reported meeting this physical activity recommendation. Participation in an organized after school activity (p < .001) and in physical education (PE) classes 5 days a week (p < .001) were strongly associated with meeting recommended physical activity level. Making PE available 5 days a week and creating opportunities for organized after school physical activity programs may increase the number of rural Latino middle school youth who meet recommended physical activity level.

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Elizabeth Vásquez, Garrett Strizich, Linda Gallo, Simon J. Marshall, Gina C. Merchant, Rosenda Murillo, Frank J. Penedo, Christian Salazar, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez, Benjamin A. Shaw and Carmen R. Isasi

Background:

Chronic stress and/or lifetime traumatic stress can create a self-reinforcing cycle of unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating and sedentary behavior, that can lead to further increases in stress. This study examined the relationship between stress and sedentary behavior in a sample of Hispanic/Latino adults (N = 4244) from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study.

Methods:

Stress was measured as the number of ongoing difficulties lasting 6 months or more and as lifetime exposure to traumatic events. Sedentary behavior was measured by self-report and with accelerometer. Multivariable regression models examined associations of stress measures with time spent in sedentary behaviors adjusting by potential confounders.

Results:

Those who reported more than one chronic stressor spent, on average, 8 to 10 additional minutes per day in objectively measured sedentary activities (P < .05), whereas those with more than one lifetime traumatic stressor spent (after we adjusted for confounders) 10 to 14 additional minutes in sedentary activities (P < .01) compared with those who did not report any stressors. Statistical interactions between the 2 stress measures and age or sex were not significant.

Conclusion:

Interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviors might consider incorporating stress reduction into their approaches.

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Ka-Chun Siu, Shireen S. Rajaram and Carolina Padilla

Increasing evidence underscores the health benefits of Tai Chi (TC), although there is limited evidence of benefits among racial and ethnic minorities. This study investigated the impact of psychosocial status on balance among 23 Latino seniors after a twice-a-week, 12-week TC exercise program. Functional status was measured at baseline, immediately after, and three months following the TC exercise program, using the Timed Up and Go Test and Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale. Psychosocial status was measured at baseline by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire. Both measures of functional status improved and were sustained after three months of TC. Greater improvement was significantly related to a higher level of baseline social support. More depressed seniors reported less fear of falling after TC. Depression and social support are important moderators of functional improvement after TC among Latino seniors.

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Suzanna M. Martinez, Elva M. Arredondo, Scott Roesch, Kevin Patrick, Guadalupe X. Ayala and John P. Elder

Background:

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.

Purpose:

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

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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.

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Shannon Halloway, JoEllen Wilbur, Michael E. Schoeny, Pamela A. Semanik and David X. Marquez

This study examined the combined effects of sedentary behavior and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on cardiovascular health in older Latinos. In a cross-sectional sample of 147 older, community-dwelling Latinos, time spent in sedentary behavior and MVPA were obtained using accelerometers. Analyses examined the effects of a measure of physical activity that combined levels of sedentary behavior (± 10 daily hours) and MVPA (< 30, 30–150, or > 150 weekly minutes) on cardiovascular health outcomes (blood pressure, BMI, waist circumference, cardiorespiratory fitness). Results suggest that cardiovascular health benefits of MVPA on BMI (p = .005), waist circumference (p = .002), and cardiorespiratory fitness (p = .012) may depend on a participant’s level of sedentary behavior. For all three, health benefits of 30–150 weekly minutes of MVPA were found only for those without excessive sedentary behavior (≥ 10 hr). Sedentary behavior may negatively impact cardiovascular health despite moderate participation in MVPA. Health guidelines should suggest reducing sedentary behavior while increasing MVPA.

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Lilian G. Perez, Elva M. Arredondo, Thomas L. McKenzie, Margarita Holguin, John P. Elder and Guadalupe X. Ayala

Background:

Greater neighborhood social cohesion is linked to fewer depressive symptoms and greater physical activity, but the role of physical activity on the relationship between neighborhood social cohesion and depression is poorly understood. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of physical activity on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Multivariate logistic regression tested the moderation of self-reported leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (LTMVPA) and active use of parks or recreational facilities on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms among 295 randomly selected Latino adults who completed a face-to-face interview.

Results:

After adjusting for age, gender, and income, neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms were inversely related (OR = 0.8; 95% CI: 0.5–1.2). Active use of parks or recreational facilities moderated the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms but meeting the recommendations for LTMVPA did not. Latinos who reported active use of parks or recreational facilities and higher levels of neighborhood social cohesion had fewer depressive symptoms than peers who did not use these spaces.

Conclusions:

Future studies are needed to test strategies for promoting active use of parks or recreational facilities to address depression in Latinos.

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Edward H. Ip, Santiago Saldana, Grisel Trejo, Sarah A. Marshall, Cynthia K. Suerken, Wei Lang, Thomas A. Arcury and Sara A. Quandt

Background:

Obesity disproportionately affects children of Latino farmworkers. Further research is needed to identify patterns of physical activity (PA) in this group and understand how PA affects Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile.

Methods:

Two hundred and forty-four participants ages 2.5 to 3.5 in the Niños Sanos longitudinal study wore accelerometers that measured daily PA. Several PA-related parameters formed a profile for conducting hidden Markov modeling (HMM), which identified different states of PA.

Results:

Latino farmworker children were generally sedentary. Two different states were selected using HMM—less active and more active. In the more active state; members spent more minutes in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Most children were in the less active state at any given time; however, switching between states occurred commonly. One variable—mother’s concern regarding lack of PA—was a marginally significant predictor of membership in the more active state. State did not predict BMI or weight percentile after adjusting for caloric intake.

Conclusion:

Most children demonstrated high amounts of sedentary behavior, and rates of MVPA fell far below recommended levels for both states. The lack of statistically significant results for risk factors and PA state on weight-related outcomes is likely due to the homogeneous behaviors of the children.

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Chad D. Rethorst, Ashley E. Moncrieft, Marc D. Gellman, Elva M. Arredondo, Christina Buelna, Shelia F. Castañeda, Martha L. Daviglus, Unab I. Khan, Krista M. Perreira, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez and Mark Stoutenberg

Background:

The burden of depression among Hispanics/Latinos indicates the need to identify factors related to depressive symptoms. This paper examines the relationship of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) with depressive symptoms in Hispanic/Latinos.

Methods:

The Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a population-based, cohort study of Hispanic/Latinos in 4 United States metropolitan areas. Objectively measured PA was coded into: sedentary behavior (SB), light-intensity (LPA), moderate-intensity (MPA), and vigorous-intensity (VPA); and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale-10 assessed depressive symptoms. Multiple regression analysis utilizing isotemporal substitution, adjusted for relevant covariates, examined PA as predictors of depressive symptoms.

Results:

Substitution of 1 hour of SB with VPA resulted in a significant decrease in depressive symptoms (β = –1.215, P = .021). Similar decreases were observed when VPA replaced LPA (β = –1.212, P = .021) and MPA (β = –1.50 P = .034). MPA and LPA were not associated with lower depressive symptoms.

Conclusions:

Previous research has focused on the relationship of MVPA on depressive symptoms. Our results suggest these constructs should be examined separately as they may have unique relationships with depressive symptoms. The association of SB with greater depressive symptoms confirms previous reports.