Research Study Abstract

Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors in Postpartum Latinas: Madres para la Salud

  • Published on February, 2013

Purpose To describe the physical activity (PA) and sedentarybehaviors of postpartum Latinas who are overweight or obese prior to initiating Madres para la Salud, a social-support mediated walking intervention to promote postpartum weight loss.

Methods 139 postpartum (13.6+/- 7.7 weeks since childbirth) women (age = 28.3 +/- 5.6 years and BMI = 29.7 +/- 3.5 kg[middle dot]m2), recruited from Phoenix area Latino-serving organizationscompleted the Stanford Brief Activity Survey (SBAS) and concurrently wore an accelerometer (AG) and apedometer for 7-days, and kept a PA record (PAR).

Results Most were classified as inactive and lightly active on the SBAS (51% inactive, 37% light, 11% moderate). Most time was spent in sedentary (512.0 +/- 169.9 min[middle dot]d-1) and lightintensity PA (242.4 +/- 51.4 min[middle dot]d-1) with less time in moderate-intensity lifestyle (78.3 +/- 39.9 min[middle dot]d-1), moderate-intensity walking (16.6 +/- 14.4 min[middle dot]d-1), and vigorous-intensityPA (0.34 +/- 1.5 min[middle dot]d-1). Pedometer steps.d-1 were low (total = 4,973 +/- 2,202 steps; aerobic = 412 +/- 774 steps) with most participants rated as sedentary (61%) or low-active (28.1%). Consistent with objective PA measures, PARs showed more time spent in light-intensity PAs such as home care, cooking, child- and self care tasks, occupation, religious events, and watching television.

Conclusions By and large, the postpartum Latinas enrolled spent most of their day in low-intensity activity levels with little time spent in health-enhancing PA levels/behaviors. This demographic should be the focus of PA interventions to increase PA to health enhancing levels.


  • Ainsworth, Barbara E.
  • Keller, Colleen
  • Herrmann, Stephen
  • Belyea, Michael
  • Records, Kathryn
  • Nagle-Williams, Allison
  • Vega-López, Sonia
  • Permana, Paska
  • Coonrod, Dean V.


  • The American College of Sports Medicine


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise


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