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Promoting physical activity in ethnic communities: perspectives from older adults by Julie Walwick, MSW, Sharyne Shiu-Thornton, PhD, Basia Belza, PhD, RN, Sheryl Schwartz, MPA, and James P. LoGerfo, M

Increased physical activity is a key strategy for preventing and managing chronic diseases among older adults. However, most adults—particularly older adults—do not get the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Elders from ethnic minority communities are even less likely to meet this goal.

Yet many ethnic minority groups in the United States have a high prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Individuals in these communities are also more likely than Caucasians to die from these conditions. Additionally, numerous non-English-speaking immigrants feel isolated, and they are often misinformed about their health status as they lack healthcare providers from their cultural backgrounds. Given these realities, physical activity programs offer obvious benefits for older adults in ethnic minority communities, but programs for these men and women are rare.

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