Differences in self-reported rationale for increases in physical activity by ethnicity and gender

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Physical activity is a recognized component of healthy lifestyles. Inactivity is associated with several chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease (Fletcher et aI., 1992) hypertension and Type II diabetes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). Data indicate that only about 10% of Americans are aerobically active (Stephens & Caspersen, 1994). Approximately one-third of the American population engages in physical activities that are less vigorous and frequent than the recommended levels to achieve a health benefit (Stephens & Caspersen, 1994).Jones et al. (1998) found that more than 60% of American adults do not meet guidelines for moderate leisure time physical activity and that many would obtain health benefits by increasing their leisure time physical activity. Recent research suggests that small, positive increases in physical activity would enable many people to reduce their risk of chronic diseases and could contribute to an enhanced quality of life (Pate et aI., 1995), thus increased physical activity, in most cases, is a desired public health behavior.


Community-Based Research | Gender and Sexuality | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Race and Ethnicity


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