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J Community Health. 2012 Oct;37(5):1040-8. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9528-6.

Physical activity among Cambodian Americans: an exploratory study.

Author information

  • 1Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (M3-B232), 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. vtaylor@fhcrc.org

Abstract

Available data indicate that Asian Americans as a group have lower levels of physical activity than non-Latino whites. However, few studies have focused on physical activity among Asian American sub-groups. Our objectives were to describe levels of physical activity, as well as individual and environmental correlates of physical activity among Cambodian Americans. We conducted a telephone survey of Cambodians living in three geographic areas (Central California, Northern California, and the Pacific Northwest) during 2010. Physical activity levels were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short version. Survey items addressed demographic characteristics, knowledge about the health benefits of physical activity, social norms and supports with respect to physical activity, the availability of neighbourhood recreational facilities, and neighbourhood characteristics. Our study group included 222 individuals. Only 12% of the study group reported low levels of physical activity, 40% reported moderate levels, and 48% reported high levels. Physical activity was strongly associated with the availability of neighborhood recreational facilities such as parks, but not with neighborhood characteristics such as heavy traffic. Our results suggest that a majority of Cambodian Americans are adherent to current physical activity guidelines. Neighborhood recreational facilities that provide opportunities for leisure-time physical activity are associated with higher levels of physical activity in Cambodian communities. Future research should assess the reliability and validity of the IPAQ in a Cambodian American study group.

PMID:
22183889
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3437005
Free PMC Article
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