Physical activity reduces morbidity and mortality from many chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Increasing physical activity in the United States is a specific goal of Healthy People 2010. The Surgeon General's report on physical activity specified that researchers should examine correlates of physical activity among different racial/ethnic populations. Cambodian Americans experience disparities for multiple health problems that are related to lack of physical activity. Further, Asian American groups (including Cambodian Americans) have lower levels of adherence to physical activity guidelines than other racial/ethnic groups. However, there is a lack of information about factors that influence physical activity among Asians in general, and Cambodians in particular. Qualitative and quantitative methods should both be used to examine determinants of preventive health practices in Southeast Asian and other immigrant groups. The goal of this exploratory project is to provide information about physical activity among adult Cambodian Americans that could be used to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate physical activity interventions. Our primary objectives are as follows: To provide qualitative data relevant to the promotion of physical activity;and to provide quantitative data about physical activity knowledge, beliefs, and practices, as well as correlates of physical activity. A secondary objective is to assess the feasibility and acceptability of measuring actual physical activity in the Cambodian community. A premise of the proposed research is that cultural, social, and environmental factors contribute to physical activity in the Cambodian community. Our community-based participatory research project will be conducted in the Seattle metropolitan area of Western Washington. An existing coalition of Cambodian community leaders will serve as the community advisory board for the proposed research. The study will use the theoretical perspective of the Health Behavior Framework. Our qualitative and quantitative study phases will be conducted sequentially. We will complete 20 in-person qualitative interviews and four focus groups addressing physical activity in the Cambodian community. Our qualitative data findings will be used to guide the development of a quantitative survey instrument. A community-based telephone survey of 250 Cambodian adults will be completed. Physical activity will be objectively measured in a sub- sample of 50 survey participants.

Public Health Relevance

This exploratory project will provide qualitative and quantitative information about physical activity among adult Cambodian Americans. The information could be used to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate physical activity educational materials and intervention programs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
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Arteaga, Sonia M
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
United States
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Taylor, Victoria M; Liu, Qi; Yasui, Yutaka et al. (2012) Physical activity among Cambodian Americans: an exploratory study. J Community Health 37:1040-8
Coronado, Gloria D; Sos, Channdara; Talbot, Jocelyn et al. (2011) To be healthy and to live long, we have to exercise: psychosocial factors related to physical activity among Cambodian Americans. J Community Health 36:381-8