Physical activity and sedentary behaviors in postpartum Latinas: Madres para la Salud

Barbara Ainsworth, Colleen Keller, Stephen Herrmann, Michael Belyea, Kathryn Records, Allison Nagle-Williams, Sonia Vega-Lopez, Paska Permana, Dean V. Coonrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe the physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors of postpartum Latinas who are overweight or obese before initiating Madres para la Salud, a social support-mediated walking intervention to promote postpartum weight loss. METHODS: One hundred thirty-nine postpartum women (13.6 ± 7.7 wk since childbirth, age = 28.3 ± 5.6 yr, BMI = 29.7 ± 3.5 kg·m-1; mean ± SD), recruited from organizations serving Latino residents in the Phoenix, Arizona, area completed the Stanford Brief Activity Survey and concurrently wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph) and a pedometer for 7 d and kept a PA record. RESULTS: Most were classified as inactive and lightly active on the Stanford Brief Activity Survey (51% inactive, 37% light, 11% moderate). Most time was spent in sedentary (512.0 ± 169.9 min·d-1) and light-intensity PA (242.4 ± 51.4 min·d) with less time in moderate-intensity lifestyle (78.3 ± 39.9 min·d-1), moderate-intensity walking (16.6 ± 14.4 min·d), and vigorous-intensity PA (0.34 ± 1.5 min·d -1). Pedometer steps per day were low (total = 4973 ± 2202 steps, aerobic = 412 ± 774 steps), with most participants rated as sedentary (61%) or low active (28.1%). Consistent with objective PA measures, PA records showed more time spent in light-intensity PA such as home care, cooking, child care and self-care tasks, occupation, religious events, and watching television. CONCLUSION: By and large, the postpartum Latinas enrolled spent most of their day in low-intensity activity levels with little time spent in health-enhancing PA levels/behaviors. This demographic should be the focus of PA interventions to increase PA to health-enhancing levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1306
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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