Two-year outcomes of Faith in Action/Fe en Acción: a randomized controlled trial of physical activity promotion in Latinas

Elva M. Arredondo, Jessica Haughton, Guadalupe X. Ayala, Donald Slymen, James F. Sallis, Lilian G. Perez, Natalicio Serrano, Sherry Ryan, Rodrigo Valdivia, Nanette V. Lopez, John P. Elder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Latina women are less likely to report engaging in leisure-time physical activity (PA) than non-Latina white women. This study evaluated the 24-month impact of a faith-based PA intervention targeting Latinas. Methods: The study is a cluster randomized controlled trial of a PA intervention or cancer screening comparison condition, with churches as the randomization unit. A total of 436 Latinas (aged 18-65 years) from 16 churches who engaged in low levels of self-report and accelerometer-based PA were enrolled. The experimental condition was a 24-month PA intervention, with in-person classes, social support, and environmental changes, led by community health workers (i.e., promotoras). At baseline, 12-, and 24 months, we assessed changes in accelerometer-based and self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA; primary outcomes). Secondary outcomes were light intensity activity, sedentary time, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, a mixed effects analysis found significant increases in self-reported leisure time MVPA (p < 0.005) and marginal increases in accelerometer-assessed MVPA (p < 0.08) 24 months post-baseline in the intervention compared to the attention-control condition. Data showed significant associations between PA class attendance and engaging in MVPA as assessed by self-report and accelerometry. No significant changes were found for light activity, sedentary time, BMI, or waist circumference. Conclusions: Participants who attended the PA classes at least once a month engaged in significantly higher MVPA compared to those who did not. Maximizing engagement and maintenance strategies to enhance PA maintenance could contribute to important long-term health benefits. Trial registration: NCT01776632, Registered March 18, 2011.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Community health worker
  • Exercise
  • Faith based intervention
  • Health equity
  • Health promotion
  • Hispanic/Latinos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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