The purpose of this investigation was to examine differences in fitness-related variables due to ethnicity among female teachers in a large urban school district. As part of a comprehensive employee health promotion program, a multicomponent health and fitness baseline assessment was conducted on 1,967 women. Data were collected from a self-administered health and lifestyle questionnaire, body composition measures, submaximal treadmill stress test, and other clinical and blood chemistry measures. The entire female sample was divided into White (n= 1,316), Black (n=518, and Mexican American (n= 133) subgroups based upon self-reported ethnic identity. Univariate analyses revealed a significantly lower mean treadmill time for Black women (261.5 sec) than for White (322.7 sec) or Mexican American (320.8 sec) women (p<.0001). In an attempt to explain these ethnic differences, multiple linear regression was used. A significant relationship between ethnicity and treadmill time (p<.0001) remained for Black females after adjustment for differences in age, % body fat, number of cigarettes smoked daily, self reported physical activity level, resting heart rate, and resting blood pressure among the three ethnic groups. We conclude that Black women in this population have a significantly lower level of cardiovascular fitness relative to White or Mexican American women, and that these differences can be partially explained by ethnicity independent of the effects of other fitness related variables. These findings have important implications for worksite health promotion programs that target ethnically mixed populations of women.
Farrell, Stephen W.; Kohl, Harold W.; and Rogers, Todd
"The Independent Effect of Ethnicity on Cardiovascular Fitness,"
4, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol59/iss4/9