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Examining the Correlates of Physical Activity for Whites, Blacks and Hispanics in a National Sample: The Role of Demographics, Social Connections and Self-Efficacy
Unformatted Document Text:  3 Introduction Physical activity plays an important role in reducing health risks relating to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and various forms of cancer ("U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," 1996). However, over 60 percent of Americans do not engage in regular physical activity ("U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," 1996). In order to promote physical activity, President Bush allocated more than $16 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in his 2003 budget plan for disease prevention ("U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," 1996). The President’s Healthier US Initiative urged the nation to engage in half an hour of exercise every day (Associated Press, 2002). In light of these efforts, it is important to understand the determinants of physical activity in order to design effective interventions for different target populations. Effective segmentation of the target audience aids in the promotion of health behavior (Albrecht & Bryant, 1996). Segmentation helps us to identify the needs and wants of target populations so as to design effective health messages for different groups (Lefebvre, 1992; Hastings & Haywood, 1991). Traditionally, the audience is segmented by demographics. Previous studies on physical activity have found that demographic factors such as income, education, age, gender and race influence an individual’s level of physical activity (King et al., 1998). Women, the aged and the less educated are more sedentary (Wilcox et al., 2000). As compared to Whites, African Americans were more likely to reside in poorer neighborhoods

Authors: Siu, Wanda. and Doyle, Kenneth.
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3
Introduction
Physical activity plays an important role in reducing health risks relating to chronic
illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and various forms of cancer
("U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," 1996). However, over 60 percent of
Americans do not engage in regular physical activity ("U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services," 1996).
In order to promote physical activity, President Bush allocated more
than $16 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in his 2003 budget
plan for disease prevention ("U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," 1996). The
President’s Healthier US Initiative urged the nation to engage in half an hour of exercise
every day (Associated Press, 2002). In light of these efforts, it is important to understand the
determinants of physical activity in order to design effective interventions for different target
populations.
Effective segmentation of the target audience aids in the promotion of health behavior
(Albrecht & Bryant, 1996). Segmentation helps us to identify the needs and wants of target
populations so as to design effective health messages for different groups (Lefebvre, 1992;
Hastings & Haywood, 1991). Traditionally, the audience is segmented by demographics.
Previous studies on physical activity have found that demographic factors such as income,
education, age, gender and race influence an individual’s level of physical activity (King et al.,
1998). Women, the aged and the less educated are more sedentary (Wilcox et al., 2000).
As
compared to Whites, African Americans were more likely to reside in poorer neighborhoods


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