A faith-based physical activity intervention for latinos: Outcomes and lessons

Melissa Bopp, Elizabeth A. Fallon, David X. Marquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop, implement, and evaluate a pilot faith-based physical activity (PA) intervention for Latinos. Design: Randomized trial, with two churches receiving the intervention and one church serving as a comparison group. Setting: Three Catholic churches near Manhattan, Kansas. Subjects: A subsample of the congregation from the intervention churches (n = 24) and comparison church (n = 23) volunteered to take part in the assessment. Intervention: Culturally and spiritually relevant education materials and activities were developed promoting the health benefits of PA. Educational materials included flyers, bulletin inserts, and posters. An 8-week team based walking contest promoted social support for PA. A health "fiesta" provided hands-on educational opportunities for PA. Measures: Organizational and individual process evaluation outcomes were assessed at baseline and 6 months. Interviews with church contacts at 6 months documented successes and struggles with implementation. Individual-level variables assessed knowledge related to PA and exposure to the intervention. Analysis: Basic frequencies and descriptive statistics were used. Results: Compared with 36% of comparison participants, 66% of intervention participants identified health reasons for participating in PA, and 47% accurately described PA recommendations, compared with 16% of comparison participants. Process evaluation revealed implementation successes and struggles, including communication problems with church contacts and difficulty in creating a large exposure to intervention materials. Conclusions: This pilot study provides formative research for developing larger faith-based PA interventions targeting Latinos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-171
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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