Publication Date



Objectives. To evaluate the impact of a faith-based intervention to promote physical activity in Latinas. Methods. We randomized 16 churches in San Diego County, California, to a physical activity intervention or cancer screening comparison condition (n = 436). The intervention followed an ecological framework and involved promotoras. We examined 12-month intervention effects, including accelerometer-based moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; primary outcome) and secondary outcomes. We conducted the study from 2010 to 2016. Results. Mixed effects analyses showed significant increases in accelerometer-based MVPA (effect size = 0.25) and self-report leisure-time MVPA (effect size = 0.38) among Latinas in the intervention versus comparison condition. Participants in the intervention condition had about 66% higher odds of meeting the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines, had reduced body mass index (effect size = 0.23), and used more behavioral strategies for engaging in physical activity (effect size = 0.42). Program attendance was associated with increased self-reported leisure-time MVPA and the number of motivational interviewing calls was associated with meeting the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines. Conclusions. A faith-based intervention was effective in increasing MVPA and decreasing body mass index among participants. Process analyses showed the value of program attendance and motivational interviewing calls.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.