Spirituality, Family and Social Connections May be Key to Improving Health and Fitness in Minority Communities

Conducting an environmental scan of national and community organizations and research experts on culturally sensitive physical activity programs

Pyramid Communications, a Seattle-based public affairs firm, assessed literature reviews conducted by academics within the African American, Latino and Native American physical activity research and promotion fields and held focus groups with experts and conducted other research to clarify the barriers and opportunities to developing effective programs to improving physical activity and eating habits among people in the African American, Latino and Native American communities.

Key Findings:

  • Most people in minority communities know what healthy behaviors are; but the gap between "knowing" and "doing" is even larger in minority than in most U.S. communities—largely because of disparities in environmental supports for healthy behaviors.
  • Economic factors can make being physically active or eating healthily difficult.
  • The stress of racism and low socioeconomic status leads to attitudes antithetical to becoming motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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