The potential benefit of physical activity (PA) programs delivered through churches is largely unexamined. This study examined availability of PA programs, interpersonal support for PA, and PA participation in African-American churches. Individuals from a random sample of 20 churches in South Carolina participated in a telephone survey (N = 571). Forty two percent of respondents reported PA programs at their churches. Walking programs (20%), aerobics (22%) or a combination of both (20%) were most common. Respondents who reported having these programs were more likely to meet PA recommendations than those who did not (p = 0.05). Larger churches were more likely to offer PA programs (p = 0.02) than small or medium sized churches. Only 24% of respondents had spoken with the health director at their church about participating in a PA program, and only 25% and 33% had ever spoken with another church member about a PA program or were encouraged to join a PA program, respectively. Individuals with more interpersonal support from other church members for PA were significantly more likely to meet PA recommendations (p = 0.01). This study indicates that program and interpersonal supports within African American churches may offer a venue for increasing PA among members.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of cultural diversity|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2009|
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