Physical activity and stress in adult Hispanics

J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2015 Feb;27(2):79-86. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12127. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Purpose: Physical inactivity and obesity are major U.S. health concerns. Hispanics have higher rates of obesity and lower incidence of meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations, however most studies on PA focus on non-Hispanic Whites. This study examined type and amount of physical activities, and their relationship to age, BMI, employment, and stress in adult female Hispanics.

Data sources: Sixty-three female Hispanics (mean age 34 years, SD = 10.5) were recruited in the Miami community. By BMI, of 47 women reporting both weight and height, 8.5% were underweight, 38.3% were normal weight, 27.2% were overweight, and 26.0% were obese. Women completed two instruments measuring PA and two measuring stress.

Conclusions: Attitudes toward PA were positive; greatest concerns were job security and finances not exercise. Leisure walking (14.3%) was the most common type of PA followed by activities watching TV (32.8%) and using video games (32.8%). Women with greater stress had higher BMIs and were less physically active (p < .05).

Implications for practice: In this sample, exercise was not a main priority although 53% were overweight/obese. Stress related to employment and finances was a major concern. Interventions on stress reduction and incorporating exercise within their daily lives are important strategies.

Keywords: BMI; Physical activity; hispanic women; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / mortality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States