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Keywords

African Americans; Exercise; Health disparities; Physical activity; Poor; Social status – Health aspects

Abstract

Low income African Americans are at increased risk for physical inactivity and related chronic illnesses. Thus, effective interventions are needed to address these health disparities. The current study examined the efficacy of a home-based physical activity intervention among a low income African American sample with high rates of chronic illnesses (obesity, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol). Participants (n=214) were randomly assigned to either the home-based physical activity intervention (self-help print materials, five monthly newsletters, two telephone counseling sessions) or an attention control condition, which promoted healthy diet. Results indicated that the intervention did not produce significantly greater increases in physical activity from baseline to six months than the control group. Lessons learned from the current study include the importance of using proactive retention strategies with low income African American participants and taking into consideration the cultural relevance of the intervention.