Background: No physical activity (PA) interventions have specifically targeted Latino men despite marked health disparities in this group. Therefore, we explored the feasibility of designing a PA intervention for Latino men. Methods: We conducted six qualitative interviews with Latino men and used their feedback to modify an existing PA intervention, then conducted a 12-week demonstration trial of the adapted intervention. Results: Themes from interviews included work and family conflicts and preferring team sports. In the demonstration trial of the modified intervention, participants (N = 10) increased PA from 1.3 minutes/week (SD = 4.75) at baseline to 125.5(SD = 154.86) at follow-up (p < .05). Retention was high and participants expressed enthusiasm for the program. Conclusions: Existing interventions could be effectively modified to target physical activity in Latino men.
Keywords: physical activity; health disparities; Latinos; cultural barriers; tailored intervention
While most Americans are not sufficiently active, activity is particularly low in racial and ethnic minorities. Compared to 28% of non-Latino Whites, 45% of Latinos in the US report never engaging in any leisure time physical activity (PA) (Schiller, Lucas, Ward, & Peregoy, 2012). Latinos also suffer disproportionately from health conditions related to lack of PA, such as obesity and diabetes (Caballero, 2007; Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2012). Such health disparities represent a serious public health concern and require further investigation. Accordingly, numerous studies have recently emerged examining predictors, barriers, and interventions to increase PA in Latinos.
To date, however, most of this research has exclusively focused on Latino women (Latinas). In fact, no PA interventions to date, to our knowledge, have specifically targeted Latino men, which is surprising considering low rates of inactivity and related chronic disease in this group. While Latino men do report more PA than Latinas, they still report less PA than men of other racial/ethnic groups, and display marked health disparities. The rates of overweight/obesity among Latino men in the US are the highest of any major demographic group (80%) (Ogden et al., 2012). Moreover, diabetes prevalence in Latino men is nearly 50% greater than in White men (Schiller et al., 2012). Clearly, there is a need for intervention in this at-risk group.
One barrier to conducting interventions with Latino men may be a lack of formative research available on this population. Very little data are available on which factors may best facilitate PA adoption/maintenance in Latino men, or which barriers should be targeted by interventions. It is likely that many of these factors would be unique from those found in Latinas; while Latinas report culturally specific barriers, many of these are related to gender and gender-roles, such as an emphasis on childcare duties and cultural standards for female weight and body shape (Eyler et al., 1998; Marquez, McAuley, & Overman, 2004). In one recent focus group study with male Mexican immigrants, men reported demanding work schedules, lack of facilities, and lack of programs in Spanish as barriers to being active (Martinez, Powell, Agne, Scarinci, & Cherrington, 2012). Interventions with Latinos have also generally catered to...