, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 191-200

Modifying physical activity in a multiethnic sample of low-income women: One-year results from the IMPACT (Increasing Motivation for Physical ACTivity) project

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Background: Ethnic minorities or those with low socioeconomic status (SES) are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality, compared to higher SES Whites. National surveys also indicate that low-income, ethnic minority women have the highest rates of inactivity in the United States.Purpose: This study (the Increasing Motivation for Physical ACTivity or IMPACT study) promoted adoption and maintenance of physical activity (PA) in sedentary, low-income women participating in federally funded job training programs.Methods: The study consisted of 2 months of weekly 1-hr classes, then random assignment to 10 months of either home-based telephone counseling for PA plus information and feedback via mailed newsletters (Phone + Mail Counseling condition) or just the mailed newsletters (Mail Support condition). The IMPACT intervention included behavior change strategies for PA as well as discussions related to motivational readiness for PA change. Participants completed surveys and physiological assessments at baseline after the classes ended (i.e., at 10 weeks) and at 6 and 12 months postbaseline. Seventy-three percent of randomized participants (n = 72) were Latina, with a mean age of 32 ± 10 years. More than half the women had not completed high school, and 73% had an annual income less than $20,000.Results: After 10 months of a homebased intervention, women in the phone + mail counseling condition had significantly greater increases in estimated total energy expenditure compared to women in the mail support condition (p < .05).Conclusions: Regular PA counseling delivered via the telephone and through the mail appears effective for encouraging regular PA among low-income women transitioning from welfare or job training to the workforce.

This research was supported by a grant HL58914 from the National
This research was supported by a grant HL58914 from the National
We gratefully acknowledge Helena Kraemer, Ph.D., for her insightful comments pertaining to the statistical analyses used; David Ahn for statistical programming; Karen Bolen and Toni Toledo for their assistance with the assessments and interventions; and Katherine Moore-Wines, Ernestine R. Howard, Isabelle Merle, Maria Buenrostro, Karen Enzensperger, Eve Visconti, Sally Hayden, Diane Hageman, and Gloria Duber for their assistance at the Adult Education Sites.