Physical Activity Patterns among Native Americans

Shu-Chuan Wang, Chung Shan Medical University
Ginger L. Gossman, University of Texas at Austin

Physical activity patterns among American Indians is an understudied health behavior (Raynard and Nickens 2001). No comprehensive research or policy effort exists, nor is there a nationally representative study (Brownson 2000, King et al 2000, Eyler et al 2002). Physical activity captures a behavior that can be both preventative and protective against diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus (LaMonte et al 2002, Brownson 2000). This is salient for American Indians because heart disease and diabetes are among the top five causes of death for this group, particularly for those over the age of 45 (IHS 2002). This paper is an attempt to explore physical activity patterns of American Indians compared to other racial/ethnic groups using a nationally representative sample, the National Health Interview Survey sample adult files for 1997 to 2001. Further, this study will compare the patterns across ethnic groups by age and, space allowing, by gender.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality