Identification of correlates of physical activity among Latino adults

M. Hovell, J. Sallis, R. Hofstetter, E. Barrington, M. Hackley, J. Elder, F. Castro, Kristin Kilbourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


127 Latino adults responded to a survey concerning physical activity. Respondents over-represented well educated and middle class Latinos. Subjects reported a mean of 48 minutes/week of walking for exercise. This sample reported less than two episodes per week of vigorous physical activity, again below the recommended 3/wk needed to insure cardiovascular fitness. We expect more representative samples to engage in less physical activity. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted using 24 variables based on Social Learning Theory. A multiple R of 0.66 accounted for over 27% of the variance in walking for exercise (p<0.001). Older adults, those with a history of childhood injury, and those who reported friend support were more likely to walk for exercise. Respondents who participated in physical activity during childhood and adolescence (including formal physical education in school) and, paradoxically, those who had models for exercise in childhood were less likely to walk for exercise. A multiple R of 0.75 accounted for 43% of the variance in vigorous physical activity and reached significance (p<0.001). Self-efficacy, friends' support, childhood physical activity, and eating a heart healthy diet were positively related to vigorous activity. These results suggest that different correlates influence walking versus vigorous activity, and that correlates of physical activity are different for Latinos compared to Anglos. The findings emphasize the need for larger scale investigations of the determinants of activity within the Latino population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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