Purpose: To determine the efficacy of community-based, culturally tailored exercise intervention on the moderate and vigorous physical activity and physiologic outcomes of low-income Latino women (Latinas).
Design: A randomized trial contrasted safety education to an aerobic dance intervention.
Setting: Interventions were held in a "store-front" exercise site near a community clinic.
Subjects: Sedentary low-income Latinas (N = 151; 18-55 years; 70% overweight/obese) were recruited. Retention was 91% for follow-up measures.
Intervention: Three sessions per week of supervised aerobic dance were provided for 6 months. Controls attended 18 safety education sessions over 6 months.
Measures: Physical activity and aerobic fitness (VO2max) were primary outcomes.
Results: Participants in the exercise group reported more vigorous exercise (p < .001) and walking (p = .005) at post-test than controls. Aerobic dance and unsupervised activity resulted in a five-fold greater increase in relative VO2max compared with controls (p < .001). Although exercise and fitness decreased at follow-up, vigorous exercise (p = .001) and relative VO2max (p < .001) remained higher in the exercise group, suggesting maintenance at 1 year. CONDUSION:. Culturally tailored aerobic dance can increase vigorous physical activity, possibly generalizing to walking, and the combination can improve cardiorespiratory fitness in low-income, overweight, sedentary Latinas.