The Hispanic American population in this country is growing; health disparities affect Hispanic Americans; and this group’s rate of overweight and obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Physical inactivity is greater among Hispanics when compared to that of other groups. This study featured in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health reviewed reports of physical activity interventions targeting the Hispanic American adult population across a four-year period.
Here are some key points found:
- Most of the interventions were community based while some were clinical, family-based, and faith-based.
- Barriers to physical activity often relate to time constraints and environmental access.
- The Hispanic Americans studied felt like they had little time for social interactions – which included physical activity – given the demands of home and family.
- Social support increased the likelihood of participation in physical activity, and an extra benefit was the friendships formed during the physical activity intervention.
- Important factors in the success of the interventions included each individual’s sense of commitment, his or her self-efficacy, and a strong sense of group identity.
- Activities that included staff from the same ethnic group of the population being studied reported improved recruitment.
- We need legislative policies that increase Hispanic Americans’ access to physical activity opportunities.