What Oregon and Colorado Can Teach Us About Fitness: Race, Gender & Physical Activity Levels
The United States Census Bureau reports that there are approximately 48 million Americans aged 18 years or older. Of these, 14% are Hispanic (or Latino), which makes them the largest ethnic group in the country. According to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , Hispanics have higher rates of obesity than non-Hispanic whites, blacks and Asians combined.
In terms of physical activity, Hispanics are less active than other racial groups. In fact, they are among the least physically active racial/ethnic groups in the United States. For example, according to CDC data from 2008-2009, only 31% of Hispanic adults ages 20 and over engaged in moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week compared with 56% of non-Hispanics. Similarly, only 32% of Hispanic adults ages 30 and up were physically active at least once a week compared with 63% of non-Hispanics.
There are several possible reasons why Hispanics may not engage in regular physical activity. One reason could be cultural beliefs related to exercise. Another explanation might be that they do not have access to facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and fitness centers where they can get fit.
What Is The “Right” Amount Of Physical Activity?
The CDC recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. However, even this lower amount is above what many people are getting, including Hispanics.
How Can We Get Americans Moving?
One way to get people moving more is by encouraging them to exercise with friends and family. For example, people will be more likely to go for a run or engage in some other kind of physical activity if their friends are involved. As such, one idea is to promote group activities at places of worship. By doing so, we can not only get people more physically active but also increase community involvement and help combat social isolation at the same time.
Another good way to encourage people to exercise is by making it part of their job. The idea here is to create more jobs that require people to be physically active such as introducing a bike sharing program in certain cities or requiring postal workers to walk or bike instead of drive when making deliveries.
What Can I Do?
At the individual level, you can engage in physical activity on your own without your friends or family or going to your place of worship. For example, you can go running, engage in yoga or take a dance class at your local community center. In addition, you could volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter or offer to help build a house for the poor through your place of worship. You have options!
The CDC’s Office of Obesity and Physical Activity provides helpful tips on how to get started with getting more physical yourself. In addition, you can learn more about how physical inactivity can lead to health problems by visiting the links below.
You should also keep in mind that while staying physically active is good for your health and can help you lose weight, it’s not a substitute for healthy eating. You should take steps to eat a nutritious diet as well.
Other Physical Activity & Health Links
Below are links to other articles related to physical activity, obesity and health:
Hispanic Women Are at a Disproportionate Risk for Obesity (US News & World Report, 8/2/13)
This news article is mainly about how obesity rates differ between different races. It also touches upon some of the health and economic disparities that go along with being obese.
Of course, being overweight can lead to many health problems, but it’s especially troubling for women of childbearing age because it can cause fertility issues.
Sources & references used in this article:
… adaptation of Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to transgenic eggplants expressing CryIII toxin: the role of gene dominance, migration, and fitness … by W Miller – 1911 – Doubleday, Page
A Comparison of Resistance to Imidacloprid in Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) Populations Collected in the Northwest and Midwest US by S Arpaia, K Chiriatti, G Giorio – Journal of economic entomology, 1998 – academic.oup.com
Can Prosecutors Lie by P Pomero – Nation’s Restaurant News, 2005