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J Sch Health. 2012 Sep;82(9):410-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00716.x.

Cardiovascular risk factors and physical activity behavior among elementary school personnel: baseline results from the ACTION! worksite wellness program.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA. lwebber@tulane.edu



Although the prevalence of obesity is increasing during adulthood, there have been few assessments of obesity, cardiovascular risk factors, and levels of physical activity among adult elementary school staff.


Data were collected from 745 African-American and White female school personnel in a suburban school district in southeastern Louisiana as part of the baseline assessment before implementation of a program to improve eating and physical activity behaviors. Anthropometry, blood pressure, serum lipids and lipoproteins, and glucose were measured using established protocols. Physical activity was assessed by accelerometry.


For both White and Black females, 30% were overweight (body mass index [BMI]) ≥25 kg/m(2) but <30 kg/m(2) ). Whereas 37% of White females were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2) ), 61% of the Black females were obese. There was a positive association between BMI and other cardiovascular risk factors except for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, where the association was negative. The mean number of minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was <1 minute per day and was lower for overweight and obese women than for normal weight women.


School personnel in the study have adverse cardiovascular risk factors, including high rates of obesity and very low levels of physical activity. Because these individuals are often called upon to promote health for children, they are an important target population for wellness interventions.

© 2012, American School Health Association.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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