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Spirituality and Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among Latino Men and Women in Massachusetts

Valerie J. Silfee, Christina F. Haughton, Stephenie C. Lemon, Vilma Lora, Milagros C. Rosal


Objective: To examine the relationships be­tween spirituality and physical activity and sedentary behavior in a sample of Latino adults in Massachusetts.

Design: This is a cross-sectional analysis of the Lawrence Health and Well Being Study; a study that was conducted among patients at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Cen­ter (GLFHC) in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Participants: 602 Latino or Hispanic adults aged 21 to 85 years completed the study.

Results: There was a significant nega­tive relationship between spirituality and sedentary behavior (β= -.12, p = .004). Although not statistically significant, higher spirituality was associated with increased odds of engaging in physical activity. There were no significant associations between spirituality and physical activity among men or women. Men with greater spirituality were significantly less sedentary (β = -.17, P = .005). There was no relationship between sedentary behavior and spirituality among women.

Conclusions: This study found that indi­viduals who are more spiritual are also less sedentary, and this association was stronger in men than women. Findings provide insight for developing future interventions to promote activity in this high-risk popula­tion, which has been greatly understudied. Future research endeavors should consider investigating the impact of spirituality-based messages to reduce sedentary behavior among Latinos.

Ethn Dis. 2017;27(1):3-10; doi:10.18865/ed.27.1.3.


Physical Activity; Sedentary Lifestyle; Spirituality; Hispanic, Ethnic Groups

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ISSN: 1049-510X (print) | ISSN: 1945-0826 (online)
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