Leisure time physical activity participation among latino visitors to outdoor recreation areas

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Previous research indicates that Latinos have low rates of leisure time physical activity (LTPA). As a result, Latinos suffer from higher rates of obesity and other diseases associated with this lack of activity. Thus, the primary purpose of this exploratory study was to gain a greater understanding of LTPA among Latinos. The goals of this study were threefold: (1) gain an understanding of the similarities and differences between Latino male and female LTPA levels and their levels of walking (done in a variety of settings); (2) examine the types of environments where their LTPA occurs; and (3) gain insight into Latinos' attitudes and perceptions of social support and constraints to LTPA. The study included Latinos from two suburban Chicago communities. Data were collected at local parks and in a sports complex. The findings indicated that 39.1% of the Latinos had engaged in vigorous LTPA 2.75 days in the previous week, and men were active for longer periods of time than were women (F = 6.47; p = 0.021). Additionally, 38.6% of the Latinos had engaged in moderate LTPA an average of 2.57 days in a week. The majority of participants indicated they walked at least 10 minutes per day (77.5%), and men spent significantly more time walking than did women (F = 47.17; p = 0.001). Men were more likely to exercise in parks whereas women were more likely to exercise at home. Most Latinos indicated high levels of social support for exercise, and men found LTPA more interesting than did women (F = 4.23; p = 0.040). The top constraint for women was lack of childcare and for men it was too tired after work. Consistent with previous findings, a large proportion of respondents were totally inactive and did not participate in moderate or vigorous LTPA. Findings indicated that men and women experienced constraints differently, but that for both groups constraints led to lower LTPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-338
Number of pages14
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Attitudes
  • Constraints
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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