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Being Physically Active: Perceptions of Recent Mexican Immigrant Women on the Arizona–Mexico Border

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Mexican immigrant women report being physically active prior to arrival in the United States. However, with increased years of U.S. residency, this positive lifestyle behavior diminishes, increasing their risk of obesity and chronic disease. A qualitative descriptive design was used to elicit recent Mexican immigrant women's perceptions of “being physically active” and to describe how living in the United States has influenced their perceptions of being physically active. Three themes were inductively generated: (a) purposeful exercising, (b) being active, and (c) being active with purposeful exercising. Overall, being physically active was described within the context of daily living well below the recommended levels of intensity, duration, and frequency. These findings can be used to inform multilevel interventions delivered early in the immigration process to prevent sedentary behaviors.

Spanish
Las mujeres inmigrantes mexicanas reportan ser físicamente activas antes de su llegada a los EEUU. Sin embargo este estilo de vida positivo disminuye al incrementar los años de residencia en los EE. UU., aumentando su riesgo de enfermedades crónicas y obesidad. Se utilizó un diseño descriptivo cualitativo para obtener las percepciones de “ser físicamente activa” según las inmigrantes mexicanas recién llegadas y para describir cómo el vivir en los EE. UU. ha influido su percepción de la actividad física. Tres temas fueron generados inductivamente: (a) hacer ejercicio intencionado, (b) ser activa, y (c) ser activa con ejercicio intencionado. En general, describieron la actividad física en el contexto de la vida diaria, muy por debajo de los niveles recomendados de intensidad, duración y frecuencia. Estos resultados se pueden utilizar para informar las intervenciones de varios niveles hechas al inicio del proceso de inmigración para evitar comportamientos sedentarios.
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Keywords: EXERCISE/PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; IMMIGRANTS/MIGRANTS; MEXICO/MEXICANS; OBESITY/OVERWEIGHT; QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS; WOMEN'S HEALTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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