The church and obesity today : the role of the church in promoting physical activity among south Texas Hispanic populations.
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Salazar, Cindy Lynn.
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The purpose of this study was to determine what physical activity resources are provided by churches within south Texas Hispanic communities and to determine if the Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA) instrument is valid when adapted for online assessments. Churches were identified within four cities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and physical activity resources on the churches’ property were surveyed through Google Maps using the PARA instrument (n=195). The most often identified physical activity resources included basketball courts, soccer fields, play equipment, sidewalks, open fields, and fenced-in open fields. In-person PARA assessments were also conducted for 30 churches. Percent agreement and Spearman correlation coefficient calculations between in-person and Google assessments for these 30 churches suggest the PARA is suitable for online use. Churches within Hispanic communities may potentially serve as a viable resource by which to promote physical activity among Hispanic populations. Further research should be conducted to survey internal resources and programming of churches.