Papás Activos: Associations between physical activity, sedentary behavior and personal networks among fathers living in Texas colonias


Despite growing health disparities in Latino populations related to lack of physical activity (PA), little is known regarding the impact of social networks on PA and sedentary behavior among a sample of Latino fathers residing in functionally rural colonias. Fathers wore accelerometers and responded to questions regarding their self-efficacy and characteristics of who they were active with most often. Fathers (n=47) attained a mean of 73.3 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (SD=23.8) per day and were sedentary for a mean of 364.0 minutes (SD=74.4) per day. In total, fathers reported 205 alters and significantly more family members (M=3.60, SD=1.64) than friends (M=0.77, SD=1.37). Sedentary time was positively associated with number of peers and inversely related to the number of children reported. Minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA was significantly associated with greater self-efficacy and number of family members reported. This study contributes to the evidence by further examining PA correlates of Latino fathers from functionally rural colonia communities. Additionally, this study supported both family systems theory and the socio-ecological model as it details the interpersonal and familial influences of PA behavior. Thus, supports for family activity promotion and programs which impact familial norms and activity at the family level may be particularly useful.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health