Correlates of Physical Activity Among Middle-Aged and Older Korean Americans at Risk for Diabetes

Benjamin H. Han, Tina Sadarangani, Laura C. Wyatt, Jennifer M. Zanowiak, Simona C. Kwon, Chau Trinh-Shevrin, Linda Lee, Nadia S. Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To explore correlates of meeting recommended physical activity (PA) goals among middle-aged and older Korean Americans at risk for diabetes mellitus (DM). Design and Methods: PA patterns and their correlates were assessed among 292 middle-aged and older Korean Americans at risk for DM living in New York City using cross-sectional design of baseline information from a diabetes prevention intervention. PA was assessed by self-report of moderate and vigorous activity, results were stratified by age group (45-64 and 65-75 years), and bivariate analyses compared individuals performing less than sufficient PA and individuals performing sufficient PA. Logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios predicting sufficient PA. Findings: After adjusting for sex, age group, years lived in the United States, marital status, health insurance, and body mass index (BMI), sufficient PA was associated with male sex, older age, lower BMI, eating vegetables daily, and many PA-specific questions (lack of barriers, confidence, and engagement). When stratified by age group, male sex and eating vegetables daily was no longer significant among Koreans 65 to 75 years of age, and BMI was not significant for either age group. Conclusions: PA interventions targeting this population may be beneficial and should consider the roles of sex, age, physical and social environment, motivation, and self-efficacy. Clinical Relevance: Clinical providers should understand the unique motivations for PA among Korean Americans and recognize the importance of culturally driven strategies to enable lifestyle changes and support successful aging for diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Diabetes
  • Gerontology/geriatrics
  • Korean American
  • Minority health
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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