A review of physical activity measures used among US Latinos: Guidelines for developing culturally appropriate measures

Suzanna M. Martinez, Barbara Ainsworth, John P. Elder

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    40 Scopus citations


    Background: As the US population continues to grow and diversify, there is a need for progressive physical activity measurement and cross-cultural research. Studies suggest that US Latinos are among the most sedentary of ethnic groups compared to others; however, study findings may be biased given that some measures may not be culturally sensitive for assessing behaviors that are not characterized as leisure time physical activity. Purpose: The primary objective of this review was to identify and evaluate measures used to quantify physical activity among US Latinos. Methods: A review of the literature was performed and studies examining levels of physical activity among Spanish and English speaking Latinos were documented. This process involved identifying existing guidelines for the purpose of culturally adapting and/or translating (into Spanish) physical activity measures for the Latino population. These guidelines were used as the minimal criteria for the evaluation of the 13 identified measures of physical activity. Results: Of these 13 measures, four were available in English and nine were available in Spanish. One English measure met the guidelines for being culturally adapted for assessing physical activity among Latinos. There were no Spanish measures that met all the guidelines for physical activity assessment among Spanish-speaking Latinos. Lastly, the identified guidelines for developing culturally appropriate measures were improved to advance physical activity measurement among ethnic and cultural groups. Conclusion: Future research should merit the use of culturally appropriate guidelines to increase the understanding of physical activity patterns in the USA.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)195-207
    Number of pages13
    JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Oct 2008


    • Cultural translation and adaptation
    • Latino
    • Physical activity measures

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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