Presenter and Co-Authors

Steven GunzelmanFollow


College of Health Sciences


Community & Environmental Health

Graduate Level


Graduate Program/Concentration

Public Health: Health Behavior and Health Promotion

Publication Date





Physical Inactivity, Obesity, and the Latino Adult Population: A Literature Review


Purpose: The Latino population within the United States show low levels of physical activity and have a high prevalence of obesity. The purpose of this literature review is to analyze the interaction between three different levels of the social ecological model and their impact on physical inactivity behaviors.

Methods: The databases CINAHL Plus, PubMed, and PsycINFO were searched with Latino adults as the target population. The inclusion criteria were studies focusing on Latino adults over the age of 18 that live in the United States that discuss the impact of either the individual, interpersonal, or community level of the social ecological model on physical activity behaviors.

Results: The various studies reveal that there are multiple levels that influence physical activity behaviors of Latino adults that must be incorporated into program design. Programs for the individual level target attitudes, skills, and knowledge levels to motivate adults to change PA behaviors. The interpersonal level relies on friends and family to influence individuals to become more physically active. Community level programs are used to modify the environment that surrounds an individual to increase access and make it easier to engage in exercise.

Discussion: The individual, interpersonal, and community levels of the social ecological model have a direct impact on physical activity behaviors and obesity rates in the Latino population. It is recommended that future physical activity programs are designed by incorporating components from these three levels to lead to more effective interventions.


Latino/Hispanic Adults, Physical Inactivity, Obesity, Social Ecological Model


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion



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Physical Inactivity, Obesity, and the Latino Adult Population: A Literature Review