ABSTRACT

Physical activity is an important health-related behavior that has been associated with prevention and treatment of chronic disease, decreased mortality, and improved quality of life as outlined in Chapter 1 (Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee 2008). Despite the known benefits of physical activity many population subgroups, including African Americans, consistently report low levels of physical activity. Consequently, population subgroups with low levels of physical activity also report the highest levels of chronic diseases (e.g., hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes) that could be ameliorated by physical activity participation. This chapter describes physical activity prevalence among African Americans using data from national sources. The chapter also provides an overview of factors that are associated with physical activity participation among African Americans, and a review of research on physical activity promotion strategies among African Americans. The chapter concludes with a discussion of implications and potential next steps for continuing to address and promote physical activity among African Americans.