Physical activity participation among Caribbean Hispanic women living in New York: Relation to education, income, and age

Elsa Grace V Giardina, Melissa Laudano, Emily Hurstak, Alan Saroff, Elaine Fleck, Robert Sciacca, Bernadette Boden-Albala, Julia Cassetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Inadequate participation in physical activity is a serious public health issue in the United States, with significant disparities among population groups. In particular, there is a scarcity of information about physical activity among Caribbean Hispanics, a group on the rise. Methods: Our goal was to accumulate data on physical activity among Caribbean Hispanic women living in New York and determine the relation between physical activity and age, marital status, education, income, primary language, and children in the household. To this end, a survey adapted from the National Health Interview Survey of the National Center for Health Statistics assessing type, frequency, and duration of physical activity was administered. Results: There were 318 self-identified Hispanic women who participated. Total activity time, mean 385 ± 26 minutes, and education (r = 0.14, p < 0.01) were significantly related. Women who had attended some college had greater total activity time than those with some high school education (p = 0.046) or < 8th grade education (p = 0.022). Walking as a form of transportation was the most frequent pursuit, 285 ± 21 minutes. Age (r = -0.34, p < 0.001) and education (r = 0.25, p < 0.001) correlated with nonwalking activity time (leisure time). Nonwalking activity times were greater in younger, that is, 18-29 years (p < 0.001) and college-educated women (p < 0.001). Physical activity recommendations were met by 11%; and 17% reported no physical activity. Conclusions: Among Caribbean Hispanic women living in New York City, the current recommendations for physical activity are met by 11%, and physical activity and education are significantly related. Our observation that education is a critical factor related to physical activity suggests that programs to address the promotion of a physically active lifestyle are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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