Attitudes and beliefs associated with leisure-time physical activity among African American adults

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-0013, USA.
Ethnicity & disease (Impact Factor: 1). 12/2011; 21(1):63-7.
Source: PubMed


More than 60% of African American adults do not meet recommendations for moderate physical activity. We sought to discover the extent to which health attitudes and beliefs are associated with leisure-time physical activity in this population.
Cross-sectional study.
African American adults were asked about their health attitudes and beliefs during a national survey.
Participants were 807 African American men and women aged 18 years and older. Random-digit dialing was employed, sampling telephone numbers by geographical region, area code, and population size.
Participants were asked six health belief questions on the importance of exercise and body weight in health. Logistic regression was used to determine which of these factors were associated with physical activity participation.
The percent of respondents participating in some form of physical activity during the past month was 87.1% in men and 82.9% in women. Factors associated with previous month physical activity in men were perceived personal importance of exercise (P < .001) and necessity of exercise for health (P = .018). In women, perceived personal importance of exercise (P < .001), necessity of exercise for health (P = .006), and having enough activity space (P = .017) were associated with physical activity participation.
Though the direction of causation is unknown, having the attitude that it is important to exercise or be physically active for health predicts physical activity participation in both African American men and women. Creating a sense of importance of physical activity to relieve stress and foster good health may stimulate physical activity participation in African American adults.

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Available from: Olivia Affuso, Oct 13, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: A key aspect for researchers to consider when developing culturally appropriate physical activity (PA) interventions for African American (AA) women are the specific barriers AA women face that limit their participation in PA. Identification and critical examination of these barriers is the first step in developing comprehensive culturally relevant approaches to promote PA and help resolve PA-related health disparities in this underserved population. We conducted a systematic integrative literature review to identify barriers to PA among AA women. Five electronic databases were searched, and forty-two studies (twenty-seven qualitative, fourteen quantitative, one mixed method) published since 1990 (Range 1998-2013) in English language journals met inclusion criteria for review. Barriers were classified as intrapersonal, interpersonal, or environment/community according to their respective level of influence within our social ecological framework. Intrapersonal barriers included: lack of time, knowledge, and motivation; physical appearance concerns; health concerns; monetary cost of exercise facilities; and tiredness/fatigue. Interpersonal barriers included: family/caregiving responsibilities; lack of social support; and lack of a PA partner. Environmental barriers included: safety concerns; lack of facilities; weather concerns; lack of sidewalks; and lack of physically active AA role models. Results provide key leverage points for researchers to consider when developing culturally relevant PA interventions for AA women.
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