Exploring the Relationship between Physical Activity and Acculturation in U.S. Asian Indian Women


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Asian Indian immigrants are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease and diabetes compared to Caucasians and other immigrant groups in the U.S., and have been shown to have lower levels of physical activity. Acculturation has been associated with increased risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and coronary artery disease among Asian Indians. The study objective was to identify relationships between acculturation and five types of activity in Asian Indian women in the U.S. The central hypothesis was that more acculturated U.S. Asian Indian women will have higher levels of leisure time physical activity and sedentary activity, and lower levels of job-related, transportation and household physical activity than less acculturated counterparts. A cross-sectional descriptive comparative design was used on a convenience sample of Asian Indian women in Houston, Texas. Data were collected by survey method using the IPAQ, Modified SL-ASIA and PF-10. Data analysis included descriptive analysis of five types of activity and acculturation and correlations between different types of activity and acculturation. Data analysis also included differences in levels of activity across all five types of activity between high and low acculturated Asian Indian women and between immigrant status of Asian Indian women in the U.S. utilizing analyses of covariance. Multiple regression techniques were used to examine predictive power of acculturation, physical functioning, BMI, immigration status and demographic characteristics on physical activities and sedentary activity. Study results indicated higher levels of total physical activity among Asian Indian women, with higher levels of job-related physical activity and lower levels of leisure, household and transportation physical activity. The study results suggested that higher acculturation was associated with higher levels of leisure activity and time spent sitting and lower levels of job and household physical activity. The information on the association of five types of activity and acculturation can be used to design nursing interventions to promote physically active lifestyles in Asian Indian women, thus reducing health disparities in the U.S. Study findings indicate more studies are needed to explore the cultural factors affecting each types of physical activity in U.S. Asian Indian women.



Asian Indian women in U.S., acculturation, physical activity, sedentary activity