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Physical Activity Among South Asian Indian Immigrants: An Integrative Review


  • Manju Daniel,

    1. M.S.N., R.N.C., is a Ph.D. student, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois
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  • JoEllen Wilbur

    1. Ph.D., A.P.N., F.A.A.N., is Professor and Endowed Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing, and Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.
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Manju Daniel, 351 Hampstead Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objective(s): The aim of this research review was to portray the correlates of lifestyle physical activity (PA) behavior of healthy South Asian Indian (SAI) immigrants comprehensively by identifying, synthesizing, and critically analyzing the existing research literature.

Design and Sample: An integrative review methodology was used. The sample included 11 cross-sectional and 4 qualitative studies.

Measures: The physical activity framework for SAI immigrants guided the development of data collection tools that included study measures of PA and background (current health, acculturation, discrimination, social support, environmental) and intrapersonal (motivation) correlates of PA.

Results: Regardless of the PA measure used, all studies reported low PA levels in at least 40% of the participants. The correlates of PA most often studied were sociodemographic variables, current health, and acculturation; female sex; poorer health; and less time since immigration. Few studies focused on social support, environmental factors, or included dynamic motivational factors.

Conclusions: Increased knowledge of the factors that impact lifestyle PA is needed so that public health nurses can develop targeted interventions to increase the lifestyle PA of SAI immigrants at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and central obesity.

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