Racial discrimination and physical activity among low-income-housing residents.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Although discrimination has been identified as a potential determinant of existing racial/ethnic health disparities, no studies have investigated whether racial discrimination contributes to disparities in physical activity.


The primary aim of the current study was to examine the association between interpersonal racial discrimination and physical activity.


Baseline data were collected during 2004-2005 among a predominately black and Hispanic sample of adult residents living in 12 low-income-housing sites in Boston MA (n=1055). Residents reported experiences of lifetime racial discrimination during interviewer-administered surveys and wore a pedometer for 5 days to measure physical activity. For analyses, performed in 2009, linear regression models with a cluster design were conducted to predict physical activity, measured as steps per day.


Nearly 48% of participants reported ever experiencing racial discrimination, and discrimination was most commonly experienced on the street or in a public setting. No association was found between discrimination and physical activity, when examined in bivariate, multivariable, or race-stratified models.


The current results indicate that self-reported racial discrimination is not a key determinant of physical activity among residents living in low-income housing. However, additional research is warranted to address current limitations of this study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shelton, RC; Puleo, E; Bennett, GG; McNeill, LH; Goldman, RE; Emmons, KM

Published Date

  • December 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 541 - 545

PubMed ID

  • 19944922

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2818664

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2607

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-3797

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.07.018


  • eng