An investigation of exercise behaviors and barriers to exercise among community-dwelling adults of diverse cultural groups

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Helen Cornely

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Awilda R. Haskins

Third Advisor's Name

Neva Kirk-Sanchez

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to investigate exercise habits in different cultural groups in order to provide guidelines for health promotion interventions. A 21-item survey with demographic information and standardized scale questions was completed by 140 individ ls. The two largest subgroups were Hispanics (n=101) and non-Hispanic whites (n=23). Statistical analysis indicated that (I) non-Hispanic whites reported significantly higher outs of exercise; (2) there were no significant differences in exercise frequency or barriers to exercise between the groups; (3) income and health status influenced exercise habits; and (4) lower health status scores were related to higher frequencies of barriers to exercise describing health limitations.

Factors such as ethnicity , income, or health status influence exercise habits, and health promotion interventions should be tailored to these characteristics. Health behaviors, however, are ultimately unique to each individual. A careful analysis of personal needs that avoids stereotypes must be performed to obtain optimal outcomes.



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