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Ethn Dis. 2002 Fall;12(4):S3-62-71.

Tailoring counseling on physical activity and inactivity for African-American women.

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Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6021, USA.


Physician counseling is one potential avenue to decrease levels of inactivity among African-American (AA) women and, possibly, to decrease the prevalence of adverse health outcomes, which can be reduced through regular participation in physical activity. Physical inactivity has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality, as well as risk for various health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. The problem of inactivity applies to all US adults, but national data consistently show that levels are highest among AA women. The first section of this brief review provides background information related to the prevalence of physical activity, current physical activity recommendations for various outcomes, and the healthcare provider's role in increasing physical activity. The second section suggests practical approaches for physicians who wish to counsel AA women about increasing physical activity. Many of the approaches are also applicable to AA men and to the general population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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