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Am J Health Promot. 2011 Jan-Feb;25(3):168-71. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.090413-ARB-138.

A faith-based physical activity intervention for Latinos: outcomes and lessons.

Author information

  • 1Department of Kinesiology, Community Health Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA. mbopp@ksu.edu



To develop, implement, and evaluate a pilot faith-based physical activity (PA) intervention for Latinos.


Randomized trial, with two churches receiving the intervention and one church serving as a comparison group.


Three Catholic churches near Manhattan, Kansas.


A subsample of the congregation from the intervention churches (n  =  24) and comparison church (n  =  23) volunteered to take part in the assessment.


Culturally and spiritually relevant education materials and activities were developed promoting the health benefits of PA. Educational materials included flyers, bulletin inserts, and posters. An 8-week team based walking contest promoted social support for PA. A health "fiesta" provided hands-on educational opportunities for PA.


Organizational and individual process evaluation outcomes were assessed at baseline and 6 months. Interviews with church contacts at 6 months documented successes and struggles with implementation. Individual-level variables assessed knowledge related to PA and exposure to the intervention.


Basic frequencies and descriptive statistics were used.


Compared with 36% of comparison participants, 66% of intervention participants identified health reasons for participating in PA, and 47% accurately described PA recommendations, compared with 16% of comparison participants. Process evaluation revealed implementation successes and struggles, including communication problems with church contacts and difficulty in creating a large exposure to intervention materials.


This pilot study provides formative research for developing larger faith-based PA interventions targeting Latinos.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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