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!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
16.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2017 | Life Sciences
22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy