UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Spirituality and Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among Latino Men and Women in Massachusetts

UMMS Affiliation

Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Multicultural Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | Religion


INTRODUCTION: To examine the relationships between spirituality and physical activity and sedentary behavior in a sample of Latino adults in Massachusetts.

DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional analysis of the Lawrence Health and Well Being Study; a study that was conducted among patients at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

PARTICIPANTS: 602 Latino or Hispanic adults aged 21 to 85 years completed the study.

RESULTS: There was a significant negative relationship between spirituality and sedentary behavior (beta= -.12, p = .004). Although not statistically significant, higher spirituality was associated with increased odds of engaging in physical activity. There were no significant associations between spirituality and physical activity among men or women. Men with greater spirituality were significantly less sedentary (beta = -.17, P = .005). There was no relationship between sedentary behavior and spirituality among women.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found that individuals who are more spiritual are also less sedentary, and this association was stronger in men than women. Findings provide insight for developing future interventions to promote activity in this high-risk population, which has been greatly understudied. Future research endeavors should consider investigating the impact of spirituality-based messages to reduce sedentary behavior among Latinos.


Ethnic Group, Hispanic, Physical Activity, Sedentary Lifestyle, Spirituality

DOI of Published Version



Ethn Dis. 2017 Jan 19;27(1):3-10. doi: 10.18865/ed.27.1.3. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Ethnicity and disease

PubMed ID