Indians, Native Americans; risk factors; heart diseases; health knowledge, attitudes, practice; risk assessment.


Introduction: Life style behaviors contribute to poor health among older Americans Indians/Alaska Native (AI/AN) in the United States, with low levels of physical activity (PA) particularly tied to the chronic disease profile of this population. Searched reviews of physical activity among AI/ANs are limited in assessing prevalence and correlates to PA among older adults > 40 years.

Methods: A literature search of reported physical activity studies among older AI/AN was assessed for prevalence and predictive factors associated with levels of physical activity.

Results: Fourteen studies were included in this review that either specifically quantified the amount of physical activity among older adult AI/ANs or discussed factors that were associated with physical activity. Being younger, employed, male, perceiving social support are associated with higher levels of physical activity. Urban versus rural living shows varying effects, possibly due to different types of activities not represented on standard physical activity reporting tools.

Discussion: There is a trend for physical activity levels among older AI/ANs to be less than the recommended levels. Reports of physical activity across a wide range of tribes and localities vary with measurement methods contributing to the unevenness in reporting.

Conclusion: Findings may serve to guide physical activity research toward more localized and culturally relevant assessment and inform practice agendas among older AI/AN.