Physical Activity Patterns of American Indian and Alaskan Native People Living in Alaska and the Southwestern United States.

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    • Abstract:
      Purpose. Assessment of self-reported physical activity (PA) and effects on health measures. Design. Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a cohort study. Setting. Education and Research Towards Health study participants from Alaska and the Southwestern United States enrolled from 2004 to 2007. Subjects. Total of 10,372 American Indian and Alaskan Native people (AI/AN) of at least 18 years. Measures. Participants completed computer-assisted, self-administered questionnaires, and anthropometric and health measurements were taken of each participant. Analysis. Analysis of variance, X² tests, and multiple linear regressions were used. Results. Almost 23% of participants reported less than 30 minutes per week of moderate or vigorous activities. Half (49%) reported no vigorous activities. Characteristics associated with more time spent performing vigorous activity were male gender, age less than 40 years, higher income and education levels, and living in a rural area. Almost 70% of Alaskan participants and 36% of Southwest participants engaged in wild food-harvesting activities. Participants with higher levels of activity had significantly better clinical characteristics (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, body mass index, and waist circumference). Conclusion. AI/AN people engage in many different physical activities, including traditional harvesting activities. Women had lower levels of PA than men, and participation in vigorous PA was associated with better clinical characteristics. These data can be used to guide health promotion efforts in AI/AN populations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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