Older African-American women are the least physically active race-sex subgroup in the United States. Despite this disparity in rates of physical activity, few of the reported physical activity interventions for older adults report outcomes according to race and sex. Alongside this, spirituality and religion are powerful cultural influences for this group and more than 95% of older African-American adults report praying nearly every day.
"The rationale for this study is our belief that health promotion efforts for African-Americans must take advantage of existing community strengths to be sustained and be successful, such as members of the same church having a sense of communal identity," said lead researcher Dr. O. Kenrik Duru, of the University of California, Los Angeles. "Therefore, we decided to conduct this intervention within churches, to test whether leveraging community strengths could lead to behavior change."
The study included 62 women recruited from three churches in Los Angeles; Catholic, African Methodist Episcopal, and Seventh Day Adventist. There were 34 women in the intervention group and 28 in the control group. Each group met for 90 minutes once a week for eight weeks and then once a month for six months. In each of the eight 90 minute sessions, both groups exercised for 45 minutes, led by an instructor. The remaining 45 minutes was different between the groups; the intervention group listened to scripture readings, took part in group prayer and were encouraged to set exercise goals; the control group listened to lectures on non-related topics such as memory loss and identity theft. The following once-monthly meetings focused on maintaining increased physical activity for the intervention group and other unrelated lectures for the control group.
At the beginning of the trial all participants' systolic blood pressure (SBP) and a one week pedometer reading were recorded. Intervention participants averaged 12,727 steps per week at baseline, compared with 13,089 steps in controls. Mean baseline SBP was 156mmHg for intervention participants and 147mmHg for controls. At six months, intervention participants had increased their weekly steps by 9,883 on average, a 78% increase, compared with an increase of 2,426 (19%) for controls; SBP decreased on average by 12.5mmHg in intervention participants and only 1.5mmHg in controls.
The increase in steps per week was statistically significant but while the reduction in SBP had a trend towards significance, the researchers cautioned that because the intervention group's average SBP was higher at baseline, this could represent simply regression to the mean.
"Our findings suggest that interventions using faith-based strategies may be effective in changing behavior among older African-American women, which could improve health and potentially delay the progression to disability in this population," said Duru. "We are planning to conduct a larger trial of the Sisters in Motion intervention with a longer follow-up period, and we are hopeful that faith-based interventions such as this one will be sustainable and effective in community settings."
Jennifer Beal | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy