Physical activity interventions with healthy minority adults: meta-analysis of behavior and health outcomes

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 Feb;23(1):59-80. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2012.0032.


This meta-analysis is a systematic compilation of research focusing on various exercise interventions and their impact on the health and behavior outcomes of healthy African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Native Hawaiian adults. Comprehensive searching located published and unpublished studies. Random-effects analyses synthesized data to calculate effect sizes (ES) as a standardized mean difference (d) and variability measures. Data were synthesized across 21,151 subjects in 100 eligible samples. Supervised exercise significantly improved fitness (ES=.571-.584). Interventions designed to motivate minority adults to increase physical activity changed subsequent physical activity behavior (ES=.172-.312) and anthropometric outcomes (ES=.070-.124). Some ES should be interpreted in the context of limited statistical power and heterogeneity. Attempts to match intervention content and delivery with minority populations were inconsistently reported. Healthy minority adults experienced health improvements following supervised exercise. Interventions designed to motivate subjects to increase physical activity have limited magnitude heterogeneous effects.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States