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Title: Exploring health geography by examining physical activity in older Latino women living in rural and urban communities
Author(s): Parrott, Emily K.
Advisor(s): Schwingel, Andiara
Department / Program: Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline: Community Health
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): physical activity
rural
urban
health
aging
Latino
Abstract: Latinos are increasingly found outside of places where they have traditionally resided. Rural Midwestern communities where new Latino immigrants are settling have experienced accelerated growth in their overall population and their Latino populations. Urban communities are also experiencing an increase in the number of Latino individuals. Latinos are being drawn to cities for economic and personal reasons. As the United States prepares for an increase in both Latinos and older adults, understanding their health behaviors, like physical activity, in different geographic settings will be of utmost importance. It is known that many Latino individuals are predisposed to obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all of which may be prevented with regular physical activity (Caballero, 2005). Physical activity is one modifiable health behavior that is linked with better health and a higher quality of life. The purpose of this study is to better understand levels of physical activity among older Latino women in two geographically different areas (urban and rural) and the impact of the community perceptions in geographic areas. Demographic information, levels of physical activity using accelerometers, survey data on community perceptions were gathered. This information was obtained from a sample of older Latino women living in the city of Chicago, Illinois (urban) (n=28) and a sample near Cobden, Illinois (rural) (n=14). Results from accelerometery data show an overall low level of moderate-intensity PA participation among this population, with significant difference (p=0.06) between rural (31.86 ± 36.5 min/wk) and urban (101.13 ± 131.9 min/week ) subjects. Also, older Latino women living in the rural site were significantly (p=0.04) less likely to meet the 2008 National recommendation guidelines for physical activity (150 min/wk of moderate-intensity PA) than their urban counterparts (rural 100% were considered inactive, whereas 74% from the urban site). This study takes a step towards better understanding underserved populations in an effort to create effective public health and community based interventions towards physical activity.
Issue Date: 2011-08-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26148
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Emily K. Parrott
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-08-25
Date Deposited: 2011-08


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