Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 237–245 | Cite as

Utilitarian and Recreational Walking Among Spanish- and English-Speaking Latino Adults in Micropolitan US Towns

  • Mark P. Doescher
  • Chanam Lee
  • Brian E. Saelens
  • Chunkuen Lee
  • Ethan M. Berke
  • Anna M. Adachi-Mejia
  • Davis G. Patterson
  • Anne Vernez Moudon
Original Paper



Walking among Latinos in US Micropolitan towns may vary by language spoken.


In 2011–2012, we collected telephone survey and built environment (BE) data from adults in six towns located within micropolitan counties from two states with sizable Latino populations. We performed mixed-effects logistic regression modeling to examine relationships between ethnicity-language group [Spanish-speaking Latinos (SSLs); English-speaking Latinos (ESLs); and English-speaking non-Latinos (ENLs)] and utilitarian walking and recreational walking, accounting for socio-demographic, lifestyle and BE characteristics.


Low-income SSLs reported higher amounts of utilitarian walking than ENLs (p = 0.007), but utilitarian walking in this group decreased as income increased. SSLs reported lower amounts of recreational walking than ENLs (p = 0.004). ESL–ENL differences were not significant. We identified no statistically significant interactions between ethnicity-language group and BE characteristics.


Approaches to increase walking in micropolitan towns with sizable SSL populations may need to account for this group’s differences in walking behaviors.


Physical activity Ethnicity Rural populations Environment design Public health 

Supplementary material

10903_2016_383_MOESM1_ESM.docx (63 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 62 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark P. Doescher
    • 1
  • Chanam Lee
    • 2
  • Brian E. Saelens
    • 3
    • 4
  • Chunkuen Lee
    • 2
  • Ethan M. Berke
    • 5
  • Anna M. Adachi-Mejia
    • 6
  • Davis G. Patterson
    • 7
  • Anne Vernez Moudon
    • 8
  1. 1.Stephenson Cancer Center and Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of ArchitectureTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Seattle Children’s Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversity of Washington (UW)SeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Family and Community MedicineThe Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsThe Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Family Medicine, WWAMI Rural Health Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  8. 8.Department of Urban Design and Planning, College of Built EnvironmentsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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