Date of Conferral





Public Health


James E. Rohrer


This study was designed to identify possible risk factors about physical activity in middle-aged disabled African American women (AAW) aged 45 to 64 years. Disabled middle-aged AAW has a disproportionate prevalence of obesity and chronic illness than nondisabled women. Most disabled middle-aged AAW leads a sedentary lifestyle, and they do not meet the recommended physical activity (PA) guidelines. Little is known about this group, and a social ecological model was used to explain PA patterns. Data were extracted from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (N = 1,599) for women who responded yes to indicate that they needed specialized equipment. This cross-sectional quantitative study used univariate and multivariate analysis to assess the relationship between age, education, and income among middle-aged disabled AAW. A general linear model revealed younger disabled AAW (ages 45 to 54) engaged in more physical activity time per week than did their older counterparts (estimate = 76.012, p = .001). Individuals with less education reported more minutes of physical activity than college graduates (estimate = 142.522, p = .001). Respondents with annual incomes from $35,000-$49,999 (estimate = 184.590, p = .000) were more physically active than their more affluent counterparts. Smoking, demographic variables, and emotional well-being did not affect minutes of moderate physical activity. This research may contribute to positive social change by suggesting that programs intended to increase physical activity among disabled AAW be targeted toward those who are older, are more educated, and have higher incomes.