Promoting Physical Exercise and Mobility in African American Communities
Inadequate physical inactivity has increasingly been recognized as a leading cause of mobility problems and early mortality in the world. The low rate of physical activity among African Americans is further linked to chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Regular physical activity is considered a protective factor, not only for chronic conditions, but also risk factors for diseases, including hypertension, overweight, and obesity.
Effects of Physical Inactivity in African American Communities
Black and African American populations in the US have the highest obesity rate, with the condition affecting 45% of Blacks compared to 30.6% of Whites. What’s more telling is that of the total African American population in the US, 37% of men and 50% of women are obese. From these numbers, it is not surprising that African Americans have one of the lowest physical activity rates among the ethnic groups in the US. Further, they are 38% less likely to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet as recommended.
Physical inactivity accounts for 6% of the annual global deaths as well as mobility problems that are likely to worsen in late life. Recent evidence shows that at least a quarter of the world’s population doesn’t achieve the recommended levels of physical activity, with the proportion being higher among women than men. For effective physical activity interventions, it is important to understand how various factors affect physical activity across socio demographic groups.
Influence of Culture on Physical Activity and Mobility
Culture represents social norms, values, traditions, and people’s way of doing things. These norms are passed on from one generation to the other, and some may influence health behaviors. African Americans are bicultural, in that they belong to their ethnic and mainstream cultures. While conflicting norms regarding health behaviors may negatively affect their health, it has also been proven that two different cultures can positively impact one’s health behaviors and contribute to better health.
Indeed, many cultural factors come in the way of physical activity among African Americans. Attitudes, for instance, can play a significant role. Nowadays, fewer African Americans are walking to do errands, making them physically inactive to some extent. In the African cultures, women are the homemakers, and taking time from this responsibility to engage in recreational or leisure physical activity may be deemed inappropriate.
Socioeconomic Status and Physical Activity
There has long been an assumption that people of high socioeconomic status are more physically active than those in a lower social class. The disparity across socioeconomic groups has been described as a cause of the disproportionate healthcare differences that affect African Americans. However, this assumption has recently been debunked as studies reporting occupational physical activity indicated that low socioeconomic groups are among the most active. High socioeconomic groups were considered the most active when considering leisure-time physical activity.
African Americans, especially those living below the poverty level, report high rates of inactive and sedentary lifestyles compared to other racial groups. Disparities in incomes also mean that African Americans have less access to leisure-time physical activity and other programs that are preferred by most. This way, they are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses and mobility issues than any other ethnic group.
Blacks and African Americans who cannot afford fees and resources required hardly participate in physical activity. To them, sports club contributions and sports equipment are high expenditures, especially those who depend on social payments for everyday living. Particularly, African American parents may find refreshments and childcare services unnecessary costs and often forgo expenditure on their physical activity.
Other Barriers to Physical Activity and Mobility Among African Americans
Despite their low physical activity rates, most African Americans are aware of the significance of regular physical activity. A systematic integrative literature review conducted revealed various barriers to physical activity, particularly among African American women. This review classified barriers as intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental.
Among the intrapersonal barriers (those within a person’s self or mind) that seemed to hinder physical activity the most were lack of time, knowledge, and motivation, health concerns, physical appearance concerns, monetary costs of exercise facilities or programs, and fatigue.
Interpersonal barriers (those occurring between people) included family responsibilities, lack of a physical activity partner, and lack of social support. Environmental barriers were also cited as reasons for the low rates of physical activity and mobility among African American women.
Some of these included safety concerns, weather conditions, lack of facilities, lack of sidewalks, and lack of physically active African American role models.
Promoting Physical Activity and Mobility among African Americans
African Americans are among the least physically active groups in the country, making them susceptible to chronic illnesses and early death. But what can be done to promote physical activity and mobility among this group?
Community-Based Walking Programs
Among the interventions that are being implemented in African American communities is home-based walking. Brisk walking is a low-intensity physical activity that has been identified as one of the activities that can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Walking is desirable to most African Americans as it is relatively low-cost and requires no special skills to participate. This simple activity can also involve the whole family, ensuring that both parents and children meet the recommended physical activity levels. A higher rate of physical activity would translate to healthier communities and help bring down the amputation rates of lower limbs due to chronic diseases.
The federal and state governments also have an important role to play in promoting physical activity and mobility. Particularly, the enactment of policies can help shape the macrosystem and act on the environmental factors that hinder physical activity among African Americans. By putting in place policies to influence the availability of resources that support physical activity, such as transport, parks, and public sports centers, physical activity in African American communities could improve significantly.
Risk Factor Screening
Some studies have shown that being diagnosed with a chronic illness could be a motivator for physical activity. While this is a far-from-ideal situation, regular screening for risk factors for chronic illnesses in African American communities could motivate Black people to be mindful of their health through physical activity.
Health Education Programs
In several Black and African American communities, lack of knowledge has been cited as a hindrance to physical activity. Healthcare professionals like podiatrists can develop education programs that could help African Americans better understand the importance of physical activity and educate them on various forms of physical activity they can engage in.
Leveraging Advanced Technology for Amputation Prevention
The Wound Docs is a nationwide network of healthcare experts including vascular surgeons, wound care specialists, and podiatrists. In addition to bringing such experts together, The Wound Docs is leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and advanced biologics (skin substitutes) to achieve more favorable clinical outcomes in wound care as well as lowering the sky-high rates of amputations in African American communities.
Exercise Routines for Health and Fitness: Moderate and High-intensity Workouts
There are different types of exercises; you get better results when you choose a combination of activities that cater to your needs. Research shows that you can gain tremendous benefits by doing a mix of four types of exercise: endurance activities, strength training.
Foam Dressings: Benefits And Applications
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Hydrogel Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Hydrogel wound dressings belong to the class of modern wound dressings that actively stimulate the wound healing process. They are composed of synthetic polymers with a high water content formed in the shape of sheets, amorphous gels, and foams.
Alginate Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
In the United States, approximately 6 million people are affected by chronic wounds. The number is only expected to increase with the rise in the elderly population. Wound dressings form an essential component of wound care.
How Obesity and Overweight Affects Wound Healing
Obesity and excessive weight are conditions that continue to disproportionately affect Black and African American people in the United States.
Understanding and Tackling Hypertension in African American Communities
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is more prevalent in African American communities than in other racial groups in the United States. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicated that about 5 in 10 non-Hispanic Black adults are hypertensive.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are areas of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue. They result from unrelieved pressure on the skin, friction, shear, or a combination of these.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Amputation Prevention
With the various technological advancements, amputation prevention through proper wound care is an attractive area for Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2002, the whole world was in awe when Google brain, an Artificial Intelligence research team, could find a cat in a YouTube video.
The Role of Advanced Biologics (Skin Substitutes) in Wound Healing
For a long time now, limb amputation has affected the mobility of African Americans living with chronic diseases. Worse still, studies have shown that limb amputation among diabetes
Know Better, Do Better: Adopting Healthy Lifestyles for Amputation Prevention
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Tackling the Education Gap: Encouraging Medical Careers Among Black Students
Black and African American doctors make up 5% of all active physicians in the country – a mere 45,534 healthcare professionals. With the African American population at about 46.9 million, it is clear why Black communities are underserved.
The Amputation Epidemic in Black America: What Everyone Needs to Know
Peer-reviewed studies have revealed that black patients are three times more likely to lose limbs than the national average. In black populated areas with little or no access to quality healthcare...
Why Are Black People Losing Limbs More Often?
Now more than ever, Blacks and African Americans are losing lower extremity limbs. In recent years, there has been a stark difference in the amputation rates in Black and white communities.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Its Impact On Wound Care
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the arteries in the arms, legs, and internal organs. It’s often caused by atherosclerosis which is the buildup of fat and cholesterol – called plaque – in the arteries.
Promoting Physical Exercise and Mobility in African American Communities
Inadequate physical inactivity has increasingly been recognized as a leading cause of mobility problems and early mortality in the world.
A Spotlight on Healthcare Disparities in African American Communities
Even with promising interventions such as the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare equality in the U.S. seems like a distant goal. African Americans are still more likely to be burdened with chronic diseases
Avenues for Promoting Health Awareness in African Communities
Disparities in healthcare remain a serious problem in African American communities. The history of slavery and other social determinants like systemic racism and access to healthy foods undoubtedly underlie the inexcusably poor state of African American health.
The State of Black Health in America
Over 150 years from the abolishment of slavery, healthcare in America is stilled marred by systemic racial discrimination and inequality. According to the CDC, 20.2 percent of black American adults are living in fair or poor health. This is a visibly higher population compared to white, non-Hispanic (14.1 percent).
Black Nutrition: Are You Eating The Right Diet?
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Debridement: A Critical Component of Wound Treatment
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What is Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and How Does it Benefit Patients?
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The Benefits of Telemedicine To Wound Care
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Why are Some Wounds Slow To Heal?
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What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Wound Therapy and How Does it Benefit Patients?
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Diagnosis and Management of Pressure Ulcers
Leading research estimates a prevalence of up to 27% of pressure ulcers in patients living at long-term care facilities. Elderly patients (above 70 years of age), obese patients, patients with limited mobility, and those with underlying medical conditions e.g., peripheral arterial disease, and multiple sclerosis are the most at risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Compression Therapy for Wound Management
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Democratizing Wound Care in Hospice Care Facilities
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Dealing With Diabetic Foot Ulcers During The Pandemic
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What Clinicians Need To Know About Wound Care Dressings
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