Master of Arts (MA)
Despite the numerous health benefits, there is a high prevalence of physical inactivity and associated chronic diseases in the U.S., particularly among low income African Americans. Past studies indicate that mailed, stage-matched physical activity promotion materials are effective, low cost, and show potential for reaching hard to reach groups. However, this has not been examined in a low-income African American population. The current study utilized a low-cost, mailed intervention to promote physical activity among a low income African American primary care population (N=207). The sample was predominantly female (82.6%), African American (69.1%), and overweight (81.3%). At baseline, all participants completed a demographic questionnaire, a 7-day physical activity recall (PAR), and stage of exercise scale (SOES). The participants were then randomly assigned to either the intervention (n=105) or control group (n=102). During the next week, the intervention group received individually tailored, stage-matched physical activity information and the control group received a brochure on the benefits of a low-sodium diet. Intervention group participants (M=6.39, SD=12.09) reported significantly larger increases in physical activity than the participants in the control group (M=-1.66, SD=9.63) from baseline to one month follow-up (t(142)=4.383, p<.001 Intervention participants were more likely to report stage progression through the exercise stages of change from baseline to follow-up than the control group participants (X2(1, N=207)=17.7, p<.001). These results suggest that individually tailored stage-matched mailed written materials can serve as a low-cost, minimal effort method for promoting physical activity among low-income African Americans.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Whitehead, Dorothy, "A stage targeted physical activity intervention among a predominantly African American low income medical population" (2004). LSU Master's Theses. 2768.