Perceptions of Older Latino Adults Regarding Physical Fitness, Physical Activity, and Exercise

Department of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 01854-5126, USA.
Journal of Gerontological Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.02). 10/2001; 27(9):38-46. DOI: 10.3928/0098-9134-20010901-08
Source: PubMed


Healthy People 2000 has identified the importance of physical activity for healthy aging, but little is known about what motivates older individuals, older Latino adults, in particular, to be physically active. The purpose of this research was to examine the perceptions of older Latino adults toward physical fitness, physical activity, and exercise. This study used a qualitative focus group design. The sample of Latino adults age 60 and older resided in Northeast Massachusetts and was recruited from community settings which serve older Latino adults. Three focus groups, consisting of four to eight individuals in each group, were conducted and audiotaped. Data analysis used a combination of open, axial, and selective coding procedures. Focus group participants viewed physical fitness as being able to do anything; the mind and body working together; and feeling "light," being healthy. Support was viewed as a motivator of physical activity and exercise and included community resources, group support, cultural unity, and health provider assistance Barriers of fear and a feeling of inappropriateness were identified by focus group participants. Although the study was exploratory and the sample size small, it provides useful cultural knowledge and information for community health and gerontological nurses. Knowledge about older Latino adults' perceptions of motivators and barriers to physical activity and exercise is a necessary first step for nurses to prescribe activities that will help improve functional independence and quality of life. Nurses can serve as links for older Latino adults in accessing community resources. Sociocultural factors that influence Latino adult perceptions must be assessed if health promotion program planning is to be tailored to meet individual and group needs.

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    • "Seven survey questions pertaining to barriers to physical activity came from ethnographic methods used with families living in Alamosa County (18), qualitative studies of older Hispanic adults (19), and common barriers reported in the general population (20) (see full survey in Supplementary Data). Barrier themes ranged from emotional (“afraid of hurting or injuring myself” and “less conscious about my looks when I exercise”), to social support (lack “people to be physically active with, such as friends and family members” and “someone to encourage me”), and material support (lack “better or less expensive facilities available,” “more organized fitness classes,” and “more organized sports”). "
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity is a cornerstone of treatment for diabetes, yet people with diabetes perform less moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) than people without diabetes. In contrast, whether differences in walking activity exist has been understudied. Diabetes-specific barriers to physical activity are one possible explanation for lower MVPA in diabetes. We hypothesized that people with diabetes would perform less walking and combined MVPA and would be less likely to anticipate increasing physical activity if barriers were theoretically absent, compared with people without diabetes. We surveyed 1,848 randomly selected rural Colorado adult residents by telephone from 2002 to 2004. Respondents reported weekly walking and MVPA duration and their likelihood of increasing physical activity if each of seven barriers was theoretically absent. People with diabetes (n = 129) had lower odds of walking and MVPA than people without diabetes (walking: adjusted odds ratio 0.62 [95% CI 0.40-0.95]; MVPA: adjusted odds ratio 0.60 [0.36-0.99]; ≥10 vs. <10 min/week, adjusted for age, sex, BMI, and ethnicity). Respondents with diabetes reported fear of injury as a barrier to physical activity more often than respondents without diabetes (56 vs. 39%; P = 0.0002), although this relationship was attenuated after adjusting for age and BMI (adjusted odds ratio 1.36 [0.93-1.99]). Although walking is a preferred form of activity in diabetes, people with diabetes walk less than people without diabetes. Reducing fear of injury may potentially increase physical activity for people with diabetes, particularly in older and more overweight individuals.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Diabetes care
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    • "The first theme of the study, " family first, no time for myself, " is consistent with the literature. Prior research indicated that Hispanic women tended to be inactive because of the family obligations that they placed as the highest priority in their daily lives (Berg et al. 2002; Heesch et al. 2000; Juarbe et al. 2002; Melillo et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite a lack of studies on Hispanic midlife women's physical activity, the existing studies have indicated that Hispanics' ethnic-specific attitudes toward physical activity contributed to their lack of physical activity. However, little is still clearly known about Hispanic midlife women's attitudes toward physical activity. The purpose of this study was to explore Hispanic midlife women's attitudes toward physical activity using a feminist perspective. The study was a 6-month qualitative online forum among 23 Hispanic women who were recruited through Internet communities/groups. The data were collected using 17 online forum topics on attitudes toward physical activity and ethnic-specific contexts. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three major themes emerged from the data analysis process: (a) "family first, no time for myself," (b) "little exercise, but naturally healthy," and (c) "dad died of a heart attack." Although some of the women perceived the importance of physical activity due to their family history of chronic diseases, the study participants thought that physical activity would be a waste of time in their busy daily schedules. These findings provided directions for future health care practice and research to increase physical activity among Hispanic midlife women.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Women & Health
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    • "In spite of the finding that the interventions reviewed in this report were limited in the use of theoretical approaches and consideration of contextual effects impacting intervention design and delivery, data to support such approaches are available. A significant number of research reports that used inductive methods and focused on Hispanic women and physical activity health promotion were noted in the research literature (Gonzales & Keller, 2004; Juarbe, 1998; Juarbe, Turok, & Perez-Stable, 2002; Kieffer, Willis, Arellano, & Guzman, 2002; Melillo et al., 2001; Ramirez, Chalela, Gallion, & Velez, 2007; Van Duyn et al., 2007). Using primarily focus groups and content analysis procedures, the culturally relevant factors that motivate Hispanic women to engage in physical activity, and the accompanying barriers and facilitators for such activity are delineated, with remarkable consensus. "
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this review are to (a) provide a comprehensive review and evaluation of intervention studies designed to promote physical activity among Hispanic women and (b) provide recommendations for future research involving Hispanic women in physical activity intervention research. Computer and manual searches have been conducted of articles in the English-language literature from 1980 to present. Twelve articles are evaluated that emphasize physical activity interventions in Hispanic women. A review of current intervention research provides a starting point for determining salient approaches for intervention and evaluation, issues related to program implementation, and the strengths and limits of existing approaches. During the past 30 years, very few interventions have been conducted that examine physical activity among Hispanic women; those that include Hispanic women across ages support the need for interventions that build on the strengths and address the limitations of this body of research.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Western Journal of Nursing Research
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